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six orders of Mishnayos correspond to the six shepherds. Avraham, the first
shepherd, lines up with the first of the Mishnayos—זרעים. This is shown to us in the Gemara that says אמונת (Avraham embodied Emuna) refers to the order of זרעים.
Moreover, in context to Avraham, it states והאמן בה', he trusted in Hashem.
Belief is required for planting as well since the seed first rots. The next
section of Mishnayos is מועד. This matches up with Yitzchak as it says
concerning him למועד
Yaakov parallels נשים. Indeed, Yaakov married four wives.
Furthermore, נשים has an identical Gematria (400) toיש לי כל,
I have everything—the famous statement of Yaakov. Next is Moshe who is
associated with נזיקין since he judges the nation.
Following Moshe is Aharon, the one who is connected to קדשים, Korbonos, as he is the Kohen Gadol—the one involved in
Korbonos. Yosef corresponds to טהרות, as he overcomes the
test with Potifar’s wife. Dovid Hamelech lines up with סודות התורה, secrets of Torah. In fact, he says גל עיני...נפלאות מתורתך, open my eyes that I may perceive the wonders from your Torah.
These seven also line up with
the days of the week. Sunday is connected to Avraham because that is when
creation began. Avraham embodies the trait of חסד and it says עולם חסד יבנה, the world is built on kindness.
Monday is paired with Yitzchak as that is the day of division
as well as when Gehinom was created.
It is no wonder that the Shir Shel Yom of Monday beginsשיר מזמור לבני קרח, division. This is the attribute of Yitzchak, דין. The same pattern follows with Yaakov to Tuesday,
Moshe to Wednesday
and Aharon to
Yosef is associated with Friday, the day of preparation as מי שטרח בערב שבת..., whoever toiled on Friday will eat on Shabbos.
Indeed, on Friday it says והיה ביום הששי והכינו..., on the sixth day when
they prepare what they bring, it will be double what they pick every day.
Yosef is this idea as it says וטבח טבח והכן, have meat slaughtered
and prepare it.
We mentioned Yosef lines up with טהרות which corresponds to
Friday. It is on Friday that one purifies himself for Shabbos!
That which one does can spill
over into his possessions since they are an extension of him.
This is illustrated by the donkey of Pinchas Ben Yair that didn’t eat barley
which wasn’t tithed.
This is also shown to us by Yosef with his grain as Yaakov felt the purity. He,
therefore, remarked יש שבר במצרים, there were provisions in Mitzrayim.
The word שבר can also mean hope as in עיני כל
אליך ישברו, the eyes of all look to you with hope.
That is to say, who else can have pure grain that doesn’t rot? Only a Tzadik
who is טהור, pure—like Yosef.
Consequently, the Gematria of סדר טהרות is the same as שבר במצרים (884).
Rabbi Alt merited to learn
under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years.
He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on
numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife
and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches.
The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
Shabbos 31a, Yeshaya 33:6.
Breishis 1:6,7. This is the day the waters split.
One is unity whereas two is separation (which is what
occurred on the second day—Monday). For this reason, the word for two, שתים, is
in plural form unlike the other numbers in the single digits.
We know that Yaakov’s trait—Tiferes—is a blend of
Avraham and Yitzchak’s. On the 3rd day, the vegetation, herbage as
well as fruit yielding trees were created (Breishis 1:11-12). These are
produced from light (which was created on Sunday, Avraham) and water (Monday,
דוד המלך—the seventh—matches up with
Shabbos, the seventh day, as we say in the Shabbos Shemoneh Esrei ישמחו במלכותך,
they shall rejoice in your kingship, those who observe Shabbos. Additionally,
it is called שבת מלכתא, the Shabbos queen.
Shemos 16:5. Also, Yosef has two sons that become
Shevatim. This connects to Friday, as it is only on this day, a double portion
of מן was
See Tzidkas Hatzadik 197.
Chullin 7a. See Breishis Rabba 60:8.
Tehillim 145:15. See Rashi 42:1, s.v. וירא.
Yosef is not a Shevet like his brothers because
Menashe and Efraim are Shevatim in his place. Indeed, Targum Onkolos remarks on
(Breishis 49:26) פרישא דאחוהי, separate from his brothers.
That is to say, he is not called a Shevet like them (Kedushas Levi, Vayechi,
s.v. בן פרת).
Yosef is on the level of a רועה, shepherd, not merely a שבט as
it says רעה את אחיו,
Yosef was a shepherd (Breishis 37:2). Likewise, it states concerning Yosef רעה אבן ישראל
(49:24). (A רועה is a higher level since a shepherd is on all of the
Jewish people.) Additionally, אבן is a contraction of אב and
בן (see Rashi there) since he was a
shepherd (which is the level between an אב—the Avos—and בן,