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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham Twerski

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham Twerski

Dvar  Torah # 1 

The Torah states: “You shall not bring an abomination into your home” (Deut. 7:26).

The Torah is instructing the Israelites to destroy the idols and their appurtenances which are called abominations.

The Talmud (Shabbos 105b) says that if one goes into a rage, it is equivalent of idol worship. The above commandment, therefore, applies to rage as well. Rage is an abomination. Do not bring it into your home.

When Reb Zeira’s students asked him to what he ascribed his longevity, he said, “I never expressed anger in my home” (Megilla 28). It may at times be necessary to reprimand — even sharply rebuke — someone for doing wrong, and this may give the appearance of anger. However, this should be an outward manifestation rather than a true rage response.

The Talmud says that rage deprives a wise person of wisdom and a prophet of prophesy. “All the forces of hell dominate someone in rage” (Nedarim 2a). What could be more ruinous? Rage is so pernicious that on three occasions it distorted Moses’ judgment, and according to Rambam, was the transgression which resulted in Moses’ not being permitted to enter the Promised Land.

“The gentle words of the wise are heard ….” (Ecclesiastes 9:17). One might think that shouting achieves obedience. Quite the contrary. Even if it produces momentary compliance, it may turn the listener against the enraged person.

 

Dvar Torah  #2

The Torah states: “And you shall eat and be satisfied and bless the Almighty, your God, for the good land which He gave you. Guard yourself lest you forget the Lord, your God, and do not observe His commandments and His laws and His statutes which I command you this day” (Deut 8:10, 11).

What lesson for life are we to learn from the juxtaposition of these two verses?

In the blessings we make after eating a meal, in addition to thanking the Almighty for the land of Israel, the Sages have included thanking Him for the Covenant with Him and for the Torah which He gave us. This ensures that we focus on a Higher level rather just the food and materialism – which would cause us to forget the Almighty.

Therefore, this is the lesson we learn from the juxtaposition of these two verses: If you will eat and are satisfied and bless the Almighty for just the land itself – then (verse 11) you must be on guard not to forget the Almighty and His commandments (Chatam Sofer; Toras Moshe).