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Friday, June 9

The Weekly Shtikle - Naso

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my dear Zadie and Bubbie, HaRav Chaim Yaakov ben Yitzchak and Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.

A very special Mazal Tov to my cousin Yona Seliger and his wife, Libby and the ganse mishpachah on the birth of a not-so-little baby boy early Monday morning. May they be zochim lehachniso laBris, leTorah ulChupah ulMa'asim Tovim.

   The connection between the birth of a child and this week's parsha isn't entirely obvious. Perhaps the strongest connection is to the haftarah and the joyous birth of Shimshon to Manoach and his wife. However, there is a more subtle connection.

    The obvious connection between the parsha and the haftarah is that the haftarah speaks of Shimshon who was a nazir and the nazir is discussed in this week's parsha. However, there are some other connections that lie beneath the surface. The Sotah process is discussed in this week's parsha. Chazal tell us that the purpose of the Sotah process is to eventually instill peace between man and his wife by resolving the existing conflict. Peace is so important that HaShem has His name erased in the water for it. In the haftarah we also see the importance of peace between a man and his wife. The Midrash recounts that when Manoach and his wife were not able to have children, they were fighting over whose fault it was that they were not having kids. Therefore, the angel informed Manoach's wife that she was in fact the "akarah." R' Chaim Kunyevsky writes that from here we learn a very important lesson regarding Shalom. If you know that one party in an argument is correct, it is proper to go over to the one who is in the wrong and inform them so that they may confess for in that way you will preserve peace. If you inform the one who was correct he is likely to bear more resentment towards his counterpart and the conflict will only continue. That is why the mal'ach went directly to Manoach's wife rather than Manoach.

    The Shalom Zachar which follows the birth of a boy is a rather intriguing custom with a number of explanations. However, the explanation which best accounts for the name is the connection to the gemara (Niddah 31:2) which states, in the name of Rebbi Ami, "Keivan sheba zachar ba'olam, ba shalom ba'olam." In some way, as is asserted by Rebbi Ami and supported by a pasuk in Yeshayah, the birth of a baby boy brings peace to the world. This forges a strong connection with the themes of peace found in both the parsha and the haftarah. May this new baby boy be a source of nachas as well as a source of peace. 

Have a good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov.

Eliezer Bulka


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