Dear chaveirim. This week we will rely mainly on the original mamar for Chag Hashavues in Loshon Kodesh – in the same language the heilige Torah was given on Mount Sinai, without the usual English version. Time is too short. There is a lot to learn, and much to prepare for the holy night of Chag Hashovues. But we can’t get away without at least a few points so let’s see what we can come up with. In this mamar we will learn, that from one point Shovues like all the Yomim Tovim is a day of great happiness. It was on this day that Hashem chose to give us his holy Torah, although the holiest of His great Angels begged Him to give them the Torah. They claimed: Why give the Torah to humans who have such a great yeitzer hura. Isn’t it nicer to give us – who don’t have a yeitzer hura, your Torah? “תנה הודך על השמים” – Give your beauty of Torah to us Angels in the sky. Nevertheless Hashem chose to give us humans the Torah , so we can use it as a lever to plow in the depth of the Torah and find new rays that were hidden within the Torah itself. Thus we have in general 2 parts of Torah: 1. The Torah that Hashem revealed to us on Har Sinai. 2. The Torah that we reveal every day while digging into the depth of the heilige Torah. But, Dear chevre, here is what we learn from the Shl”o hakodesh. While Chag Hashavues is a yom tov and a great day of happiness, it is also a real yom hadin of matan Torah. We have to give a “דין וחשבון” how we treated the great jewel of Torah all year long. Did we spend enough time every day learning Torah and enjoying her beauty? Did we employ all our efforts to delve in the depths? How wonderful are the words of the great Rabbi Reb Boruch of Medzibiz zt”l who used to say on Shavous: I am more afraid from the yom hadin of Chag Hashuvoes than I am afraid of the yom hadin of Rosh Hashone. On the yom hadin of Rosh Hashone we are judged with regard to parnose, i.e.; whether we will have one more Challah roll or perhaps one fewer. But the yom hadin of Shavues is how much Torah we will have access to during the coming year. On the yom hadin of Chag Hashovues, we must prove to the Beis din shel maalo and to the entire Pemalye shel maale, that the Hiliger Bashefer did not choose in vain to give us the Torah rather than to his holy Angels. We must prove that we fulfilled our duty of learning Torah, and did all we can to contribute our part in revealing new ideas of chidushi Torah. All this is reflected in theשתי הלחם” “- “shtei halechem”, the 2 breads that we bring in the beis hamikdosh on Chag Hashovues. The the 2 breads represent a marvelous combination of “lechem min hashmayim”, which symbolizes the Torah that was given to us by Hashem, and “lechem min huoretz” which symbolizes the Torah that we reveal on this world. We present to Hashem both parts of the Torah that we learned this year, with the hope to have the zchus of getting a new cycle of Torah for the coming year. Although I didn’t mention it in the mamar, it is easy to conclude that this is the secret of lechem mishne – 2 chales every suede on Shabbes. It is to remind us that we need to spend the shabbes, learning the 2 parts of Torah that are “shtei halechem” – “lechem min hashmayim” and “lechem min huoretz”. So chevre, it seems that after all I couldn’t resist sharing with you a few highlights of the mamar. So let’s just sit down to learn the mamar and have a taste of the “shtei halechem”. I wish you all a lechtiken Yom tov. Pinches
This week we changed gears from the 3rd to the 4th. No I don’t mean the gear in your car. I am referring to the fact that B”H we finished the 3rd chumesh “Vayikru” and began the 4th chumesh “Bamidbor”.
We need to take advantage of every opportunity to grow, to check how we can make changes in our lives, to better ourselves, to upgrade our connection with Hashem and with the Torah. Bearing this in mind we chose to deal in this week’s mamar with a theme which is deeper than usual. The truth is that I was considering not writing an introduction at all. But I decided that by now you have enough knowledge and experience, to master it and even enjoy it bezras Hashem Yisborach. So, let’s get to it.
Our mamar this week deals with the creation of the soul, [if you will, it can serve as a continuation to lasts week’s mamar, although it stands for itself], as it is described in the Torah Hakdoshe how Hashem created Adam (Breishis 2, 7):
“וייצר ה’ אלקים את האדם עפר מן האדמה, ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים, ויהי האדם לנפש חיה”. Meaning: “Hashem created the man dust from the ground, and he blew into his nostrils a soul of life, and the man became a living being”.
From this we learn that the source of the soul – the Neshome in our body, comes, so to say, from the mouth of Hashem, which He blew the soul of life into the nostril of Adam. Of course Hashem is above all physical descriptions and has neither physical mouth nor other features. But as explained in sforim hakdoshim, Hashem uses spiritual powers and sacred channels to talk to us humans. Those channels are comparable to the mouth.
How inspiring is the profound thought of Rabbi Chayim from Velozin in his great seifer “Nefesh Hachayim”. The source of our souls always stays in the mouth of Hashem from where it came. From this we learn that if we want to renew the flow of our soul daily, we must do something good so Hashem will renew to blow the soul of life in our nostrils.
Chevre, the question is: How do we go about doing it? The answer is: By studying Torah! Because the amazing thing is, that the source of the heilige Torah is from the very same source of the soul, namely the mouth of Hashem that has given us the Torah on Mount Sinai, like it says in parshas Yisro:
“וידבר אלקים את כל הדברים האלה לאמר”. – And god has spoken all these words to say.
For this reason, when we learn Torah on this world with our physical mouths, Hashem kaveyochol joins us and learns with us repeating the Torah we learn. By the action of Hashem learning with us the Torah that comes out of His mouth, He renews our souls from the same place that the words of Torah emanates, and a new cycle of blowing the soul from Hashem’s mouth occurs.
This gives us the understanding why the study of Torah is our life, and without it we have no life. Because, in order to refresh our soul, we must inspire through our learning Torah, that Hashem should learn the Torah as well, and while doing so it refresh our souls.
While we are at it I would like to share with you, something that I didn’t write in the mamar. To me this is the secret of the Minhag – custom, according the Ariza”l, to smell Besomim on Friday night before Kiddush, and we do it all, according the halacho, on motzei Shabbes. Because as we learn from the Gemure: It is the soul that enjoys most the good smell. So, smelling is an action that symbolizes the accepting of the new Neshome yesiro, the additional soul that we get on Shabbes. It is an act of: “ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים” – “and Hashem blew into his nostrils a soul of life”. The same goes for motzei Shabbes when we lose the Neshome yesiro and renew the weekday soul.
We will iy”H elaborate on this issue some other time. But for now if you want to know more, just delve into in the depth of the mamar, and come up with a new outlook on life…
First of all, I want to begin with fresh regards from the holy sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Lag ba’omer in Miron. There are not enough words to describe the spiritual, uplifting sensations and overwhelming heights that are felt in Miron. Hundreds of thousands of klal yisruel are united and embraced to pour out their hearts with joy and prayers. What a sight! Outside the cave young and old are connected and united in a ring to dance and sing with holy ecstasy: “Bar yochai nimshachte ashrecho” and “Vamartam ko lechai”. While inside the cave the air is filled vibrating with the echo of prayers accompanied with outbursts of crying.
As promised I had you all in mind, although I don’t know all your names, I prayed to Hashem Yisborach bizchus hatana Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai to send hatzlocho to our entire chabure, we should be able to keep up the shiur, to learn together, to be mechadesh chidushi torah, find new thoughts that can bring us to see the beauty of the heilige Torah, and that we should have great Naches from our lechtike kinderlich with long healthy good years.
Now let’s get to the introduction for this week’s mamar on parsahas Bechukosai.
We, human beings, take for granted that we are who we are. But we are really a very complicated species, combined of two very contradictory powers. The first is the Neshome which is the spiritual soul, and the second is the physical flesh, the body which is no different than any animal seeking worldly pleasures.
This is reflected in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim (chapter six) where the meaning of the finish line in the broche of “Asher yotzer”: “rofei chol bosur umafli lasoos” is explained. It means Hashem does wonders by keeping together these two opposing powers, the spiritual soul and the physical body.
As we learn from the midrash, the spiritual soul is very unhappy being locked in the confines of the physical body, who has no intensions to live a life of higher values. The soul feels trapped in the body and constantly wants to escape from it!
The Medresh goes on explaining, that the soul never stops to struggle to leave the body. Only when she sees the שכינה הקדושה – the divine Presence of Hashem that surrounds the body, especially when learning torah and doing Mitzvahs, she then retreats back into the body out of respect to Hashem. That is the intensions of Dovid hamelech that finished Thilim with the posuk: “כל הנשמה תהלל יה” – for every breath that we take we most thank hashem that keeps the soul in its place…
That is the explanation of what we learn in the Talmud: “חש בראשו יעסוק בתורה” – If you have a headache learn torah. It is a very deep insight about health issues: If we are sick and don’t feel good, It is not enough for us to spend time and money on homeopathy, chiropractic practice, acupuncture, and herbal remedies, not that I have anything against it, but we must first bear in mind that the source of our sickness is, because our soul is restless and unhappy. When the soul does not get its full nourishment of Torah and Mitzvos, it feels unhappy and wants to leave the chambers of the body where she feels locked in. And when she wants to leave trouble sets in. Keeping the Neshome happy by spending a few hours of learning Torah, or doing a great Mitzva, is the best remedy to live a healthy life and will save us a lot of pain.
Okay chevre let’s leave something for the mamar. And believe me there is a lot to learn.