Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursda's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vaeschanan

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the maggid shiur.

Rabbi Mansour indicated that in Parshas Vaeschanan, Moshe prayed 515 prayers that he be allowed to enter the land of Israel. Although R' Mansour did not explicitly state the source for the number of prayers, I surmise that it is the gematria of Vaeschanan.

After the 515th prayer, Hashem says to Moshe - "rav lach" - you have prayed enough, please stop. Rabbi Mansour asked - why did Hashem allow Moshe to pray so many different prayers (as each of the 515 were different from each other)? Why didn't Hashem tell Moshe to stop praying much sooner, as Moshe's request was not to be granted to him?

Rabbi Mansour answered the question by citing chazal for the famous concept that "no prayer goes unanswered." It is possible that a prayer can be put on hold in one generation and it will be answered in another generation. Hashem knew that at some point the Jews would be in need of prayers, and Moshe's tefillos were put away to be used when the Jews are in a perilous situation.

Rabbi Mansour then explained that a person may pray from the heart and still not get the answer he is looking for at the time. This does not mean that the request won't be answered for a different person or at a different time.

Rabbi Mansour then analogized the situation to blood bank. A person will donate blood to the blood bank to be used in the future as needed. If that person needs blood, he may receive it back from the blood bank. However, if another person needs blood, the "banked" blood will be available to that other person to address his medical needs.

So too with the prayers that are made. Hashem may not give the person what he is asking for when he prays. But the prayer will be answered down the road and Hashem will assist him or perhaps his children or grandchildren.

A number of years ago, R'Frand told a story during one of his Thursday Night shiurim which related to the concept of no prayer goes unanswered. R' Frand spoke of a man who was walking on the street in Tel Aviv and was asked to join a minyan. The man protested multiple times, stating that he was not religious and had never been in a synagogue. Eventually, the man agreed and joined the short prayer service. The man later became Orthodox as a result of the experience.

Meanwhile, the gentleman's father became the butt of jokes on his Kibbutz. How could his son become Orthodox when his father had raised him to despise religion. The answer was that it must have been the prayers of the grandfather for his son. While the grandfather was unsuccessful in convincing his son to become frum, his prayers did not go unanswered. Instead, the grandson became the beneficiary of his grandfather's prayers and tears. It should be no great surprise that the synagogue where the man's journey to religion began was the same shul that his grandfather himself had prayed in.

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