Torah Resources

Rabbi Erps' Daily M & M

(Minute & Merit)

Day One

Why did Moshe stick with the name that Paroh's daughter gave him (in this week’s Parsha, Shemot) out of the seven names that he had? This name alluded to his being drawn from the water that saved his life for the word Moshe means "to draw". All his life he wanted to remember and recognize his miraculous existence which was due thanks to being drawn from the water. So shall we be grateful for all the good we receive all the time.

Day Two

What was on Moshe's resume that caused Hashem to choose him for the job of being the leader of the Jewish people? The Torah shares several stories where Moshe cared for others: the sheep that ran away, the Egyptian who attacked the Jew, the two Jews who were fighting. The most important character trait in being a leader is a genuine care and concern for those around you. Moshe excelled at this and therefore was chosen. Shabbat Shalom!

Day Three

Why is the Hebrew word for character trait - midah, which translates literally to mean ‘measure’? Because all character traits need to be measured. For example: Chesed. One should not be overly nice to the extent that they become a push over. On the other hand, one shouldn’t be too harsh so as not to be a pushover. Rather one needs to balance the right measure for each character trait, each midah.

Day Four

The mitzvah of Tefillin is to remind us of our connection between us and Hashem. How does the seven times that we wrap our tefillin around our arm fit into this theory? One explanation: The seven wraps are parallel to the sheva brachot, the seven blessings made at a chuppah, that is part of the marriage ceremony. Just as those brachot are part of the binding together of man and woman, so too does tefillin bind us together with Hashem. Similarly, we wrap the tefillin around our finger, for that resembles the ring that the husband gives the wife for the marriage to be binding.

Day Five

Why is one not allowed to say the name of Hashem that is spelled yud and hey and vuv and hey as it is written, as opposed to the rest of the names of Hashem that we are allowed to? The reason is because the other names of Hashem represent a character trait of Hashem. The uniqueness of this name, however, is that it represents the essence of Hashem. The essence of Hashem, the Infinite, is not possible to fully grasp. We don't read it like it is written because we don't really have a connection to it.

Day Six

How does one achieve happiness? I once heard, "People are busy looking for the city of happiness. Meanwhile it can be found in the state of mind!" The letters of the Hebrew word for happiness, 'simcha', are the same letters of the Hebrew word for thought, 'machshava'. One can have a lot but still not be happy. One can have little and be happy. It all depends on the perspective of how one thinks. Am I satisfied with what I have or do I always want more.

Day Seven

In this week's parsha, Va'era, Moshe did not hit the water and dirt to bring about the first three makot because of hakarat hatov, to show gratitude for having saved him. Question: Would the water and dirt which has no feelings know the difference?! Hakarat hatov is more than just showing gratitude but rather, as the words literally mean, 'recognizing the good'. The point of hakarat hatov is to train one to recognize the source of good - even if the source is an inanimate object. This should ultimately bring us to recognize the source of all good, Hashem.

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