Mamar on Sukkes

 

Simchas Bais Hashoeva 

Great Simche of the lower waters:
Torah & Mitzvos freed from the Klipos!

 

Dear Chaveirim!

How much thanks do we owe to Hashem that we are able to share the 3rd new mamar of this new year, a mamar that touches the tip of the iceberg, discussing the great Mitzvah of Chag Hasukkos.

One of the very special aspects of the Yom Tov of Sukkos is the “Simchas Bais Hashoeva”. The Gemara in Sukkah describes in detail the juggling and acrobatic skills displayed by the greatest Talmudic sages, who all year round were engrossed in the depths of Torah. Even the greatest personality the Nassie Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel was dancing with up to 8 lit torches being juggled up and down, none of them touching each other.

During the long festivities no one got tired as Reb Yhoshua ben Chananya said: “When we were participating in the Simchas Bais Hashoeva”, we didn’t feel any sleep in our eyes”.

The Mishna claims: “Anyone who has not seen Simchas Bais Hashoeva has never seen a real Simcha… There wasn’t a courtyard in Yerushalyim that was not lit from the light of the Bais Hashoeva. This as the Sforim explain, is not only referring to the physical light, but also to the eternal spiritual light that filled every household in Yerushalyim. Up to this day Jews all over the world, especially in Yerushalyim, celebrate every night of Chol Hamoed the Simchas Bais Hashoeva, dancing into the late hours of the night.

The Mishna explains the reason for this great event. During the year, anyone bringing a Korbon – sacrifice, would also bring wine to pour on the Mizbayach which is called “Nisuch Hayayin”, but on Sukkos there was also a water pouring “Nisuch Hamayim”. That is the reason for the great Simcha based on the possuk in the Navi Yeshaya (12:3): “Ushavtem mayim bsason mimaynai hayeshua”.

 

 

Appeasing the cry of the lower waters

As we know all physical events are only outside dressings that hide something much deeper and valuable. So In this mamar we are trying to deal with the obvious question: What was this great Simcha all about? We need to understand what was so special about this Mitzva of “Nisuch Hamayim” that such public elaborate displays of simcha accompanied it.

We learn from the Medrash that the Nisuch Hamayim is to appease the lower waters on earth. This is based on the possuk (Breishis 1:7): “And God made the heaven and he separated between the waters that were beneath the heaven and the waters that were above the heaven”.

The Midrash and the Zohar say, that at the time of Creation the lower waters were crying: Why are we so far away from Hashem, we also, like the higher waters, want to be close to Hashem. Rashi in Parshas Vayikra (2:13) explains, Hashem promised the lower waters that they would be poured on the Mizbayach on Sukkos. So this is the reason for the great happiness of “Simchas Bais Hashoeva”, to share the happiness of the waters that were finally poured on the Mizbayach before Hashem.

But Chaveirim we still need to dig deeper, in order to quench our thirst trying to understand the crying of the lower waters:

1. why were the lower waters crying and complaining: “We also want to be close to Hashem”, didn’t they know that the presence of Hashem is all over the world on heaven and on earth, like the great Malochim say in their chant (Yeshaya 6:3): “Kadosh, Kadosh Kadosh Hashem Tzvakos melo chol haarets kevodo” – Hashems presence and divine influence fills the entire world.

2. If this is how Hashem created the world, dividing the upper waters from the lower waters, how dare the lower waters complain and not accept God’s will.

3. Why did Hashem find a Tikun for the waters remaining on earth by pouring them on the Mizbayach only on Sukkos.

In this Mamar we are suggesting a new Chidush based on the Tiferes Shloma, who explains the possuk in Parshas Reai (Devarim 16:13) defining the meaning of chag hasukes: “Chag hasukkos taase lecho shivas yomim beosfecha migarnecha Umiyikvecha” – “You shall make the festival of Sukkos for a seven-day period, when you gather in from your grain-floor and from your winery”. The Gemora explains that the possuk refers to the Schach on the roof of the Sukke which is combined of: “Psoles goren veyekev” – rubbish wastes of grains and winery.

The Tiferes Shlomo explains the meaning of this, based on the Ariz”l who teaches us, that if a person is a baal aveiro and a rosho, all his good deeds and Torah learning, fall into the trap of the “Klipos” – evil forces, who are just gaining koach by stealing from the Kedushe. But by doing Teshuva we are able to free all the Torah and Mitzvahs and bring them back to the Kedushe.

Sukkos, the Tiferes Shlomo says, is a time that we can harvest and free these Torah and Mitzvos from being held by evil forces! Therefore the Torah says by Esrog and Lulav: “Ulkachtem lachem”, which the Gemara teaches “Mishelachem”, from your own. Here is our chance to recapture our own Torah and Mitzvos.

This dear friends, is in my opinion, the mystical meaning of the lower waters crying: “We also want to be close to Hashem”. The Gemara says that Torah is compared to water: “Ein mayim elo torah”.

The waters that are above the heaven symbolize the Torah and Mitzvos, that were able to soar up to Hashem without any troubles, but the lower waters under the sky symbolize the Torah and Mitzvos that were captured by the evil forces “Klipos”. They are stuck beyond the sky and cannot get to their destiny, and therefore they are crying out: “We also want to be close to Hashem”, and not being in the hands of the “Klipos”.

But as we learned from the Tiferes Shlomo, Sukkos is the time that we can free these Torah and Mitzvos from their captivity and bring them back to the Kedushe. Therefore on Sukkos we are pouring water on the Mizbayach, to cleanser the Torah and Mitzvos that were freed from those evil forces, and this is the reason for the tremendous outburst of “Simchas Bais Hashoeva”, to express our great happiness of all the Torah and Mitzvohs that were freed and brought back to the Kedushe.

How uplifting is it to find the beautiful connection to this marvelous idea, by explaining the reason for “Simchas Torah”, which is right after the seven days of Sukkos, when we dance the seven “Hakofes” with the Torah, and are called to say the broche for the reading of the Torah. This is to express our happiness and thanks to Hashem for freeing the captured Torah and Mitzvos.    

We still need to explain why is it done only on Sukkes? But let’s leave something for the mamar that you will have more than enough time to learn on Chol Hamoed.

I want to sign off by wishing you all a Simchas Yom tov. By the way please don’t forget to be mekayem what the possuk says (Devarim 16:14): “Vesomachto bechagacho” – “You shall rejoice on your festival, you, your son, your daughter”…

The Gemara (Psachim 109:1) says that you must make happy every member of the family according to his or her needs. How do we make the women happy? The Gemara says by buying them colored clothing. If I may add: We also need to make Hashem happy who brings us constant happiness, by bringing and presenting him all the Torah and Mitzvous that were freed during Sukkes!

Pinches

 

~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~

Mamar on Yom Kippur

 

Reb Yishmoel Kohen Gadol being in Kodesh Hakodoshim
saw Hashem sitting on his throne who asked for his beracha!

 

Dear Chaveirim.

As we approach and prepare for Yom Kippur, it is fascinating to get a glimpse of what happened to the Kohen Gadol, when he went behind the curtain into the Kodesh Hakodoshim on Yom Kippur. As we try to reach higher spiritual heights let’s get a little understanding of the heights the Kohen Gadol reached.

He started the preparation for this holy event 7 days prior to Yom Kippur, cleansing his Neshome with holy thoughts of Torah and prayers, so he can be ready for this special day highlighted by the avodah of the Ketores in the Kodesh Hakodoshim.

The Gemoro in Brachos relates to the Kohen Gadol Rebbe Yishmoel ben Elisha, describing how once when he entered the Kodesh Hakodoshim, he saw Hashem sitting on his throne that asked for his beracha. He answered that it should be Hashem’s will that Kevayachol he should curtail his anger and have Rachamnus on his children and Hashem nodded his head, from which we can see that a person’s brachos should not be taken lightly.

The Tiferes Sholomo points out, that even while being on such a high level in the Kodesh Hakodoshim, the Kohen Gadol had in mind the people, and when given the opportunity davened to Hashem for Klal Yisroel, and as Rashi explains, Hashem’s nodding his head – was a sign of approval as if he said Amen, to show how great full he was that the Kohen Gadol had in mind to davene for his dear Kinderlich klal Yisroel!

What we see from this amazing event is; that a Kohen Gadol who was worthy could literally see Hashem, while entering the Kodesh Hakodoshim on Yom Kippur.

Similarly, the Yerushalmy in Yuma says that Shimon Hatzadik after serving as a Kohen Gadol for forty years revealed that his time came to leave this world. When asked how he knows, he said: Every year when I entered the Kodesh Hakodoshim I was accompanied by an old man dressed in white on my way in and on my way out. This year I was accompanied by this old man only on my way in. From this I understand that my time has come.

The great Talmudic sage Reb Avhu who heard this responded: In Parshas Achrai we are taught that no person could be in the Ohel Moeed while the Kohen Gadol was doing the avode in the Kodesh Hakodoshim. The Yershalmi teaches us that not even Malachim could go in. So who was the old man who accompanied Shimon Hatzadik? From this He concluded: It could only be Hashem himself that accompanied this holy Kohen Gadel.

But Reb Avhu continues to ask a theoretical question: If the Torah says that no person could be in the Ohel Moeed while the Kohen Gadol was doing the avode in the Kodesh Hakodoshim, how could the Kohen Gadol himself who was a person go in??? He explains:

The Kohen Gadol while entering the Kodesh Hakodoshim was transferred into a blazing being, his face shining and burning like torches of blazing fires. Reb Tzadok Hacohen from Lublin explains; that the Kohen Gadol while being in the Kodesh Hakodoshim came to such heights, that he left his body thus becoming a Neshomo without a body; therefore he was on a higher level than the Malachim. Only when he finished the avode did his sole enter again into his body.

In a sidebar, we also learn how Reb Yishmoel ben Elisha could see Hashem sitting on his throne. Learn the Mamer to understand how the Bais Hamikdosh on earth is perfectly aligned with the Bais Hamikdosh in Shamayim, and when the Kohen Gadol put the Ketores on the Aron he could see Hashem sitting on his throne.

As we sit in Shul on Yom Kippur, dressed in white and fasting and totally immersed in spirituality, we should try to remember the awesome levels of kedusha that the Kohen Gadol could reach, and try to picture ourselves as if we too could truly experience the presence of Hashem, and cry out our hearts for what we’ve done and what we will try to do better in the coming year.

A gemar chasime tove and a gut gibentched year to all Chaveirim and to all that belong to klal Yisruel. It’s high time that we should be zoche to the Geuule Shleime very soon.

Pinches

 

~   For  the  full  Mamar  in  Lashon  Hakodesh,  see  the  weekly  “Hamachne Hachareidi”.   ~

Mamar Rosh Hashone that falls on Shabbos

 

Rosh Hashono that falls on Shabbos
Shabbos itself does the action of the shofar!

 

As we are standing in the last few days of this year parting with 5769, we find ourselves standing in fear and trepidation as we say Slichos getting ready to enter the new year 5770.

This year with the first day of Rosh Hashono falling on Shabbos, we can learn a special lesson of the immense power that Hashem gave the Chachomim to act even to the extent of, when necessary, being mevatel a Mitzva Deoraysa or adding a Mitzva Derabanan.

Shofar is the central Mitzva of Rosh Hashono. Not only do humans feel the awe of the sound of shofar, but as we say in Unsane Tokef, even the Malochim tremble from the shofar blowing.

The Medrash teaches us that the sounds of the shofar are carried through the heavens by the Malochim. When the sounds reach Hashem he gets up from his throne of Din and sits on his throne of Rachamim.

When Rosh Hashono falls on Shabbos, the Chachomim said that we should not blow shofar, as the Gemoro in Rosh Hashono explains, that if we blow the shofar, someone who is not an expert will go to an expert to learn how to blow, and will forget that it is Shabbos and carry the shofar 4 Amos Birshus Hurabim.

Seforim explain that there is another reason, a more hidden one belonging to the Kabalistic world: We don’t blow shofar on Shabbos, because the kedushe of Shabbos itself converts Midas Hadin to Midas Harachamim, as we say in the mamar of the Zohar Friday night: “Vechol dinin misabrin mino” – And all the Dinim are taken away from the Shabbos.

We also see the power of the Chachomim from what they instituted a second day of Rosh Hashono, so that if the witnesses who saw the new moon came too late in the day, and it’s too late to properly bring the korbonos, we want to make sure that we will have another day to do it. And this continues even now when we don’t bring Korbonos.

This multiple power of the Chachomim: One to be mevatel a Mitzva Deoraysa of blowing the shofar on the first day, two to add a Mitzva Derabanan on the second day, is hinted to in Parshas Shoftim, where we are warned to listen and not stray when they tell us right or left, and Rashi says even if the Chachomim say Right is Left and Left is Right. Right represents Midas hachesed and Left represents Midas hadin.

So on the first day of Rosh hashono when midoraysa we were supposed to blow shofar even if it falls on Shabbos because it is a Yom Hadin, but the Chachomim say Shabbos is a day of Rachamim and negates the Din. So they are saying that what we thought is Left – Din, is really Right – Rachmim. On the other hand, the second day we shouldn’t blow the shofer, because it should not even be Yom Tov, but the Chachomim are commending us to blow the shofar to sweeten the Din. So they are saying that what we thought to be Right – Rachmim is really Left – Din.

The mamer goes on to show, based on a Bnai Yisoschor, that the 2 days of Rosh Hashono have different types of judgements. The first day is “Dina Kashia” – harsh din and the 2nd “Dina Rafia” – softer judgement. These 2 types of Dinim is represented by the 2 words of “Chok” and “Mishpot”, “Chok” is “Dina Kashia” and “Mishpot” is “Dina Rafia”.

Rav Chaim Vital says in the name of his great Rabbi the Ariza”l, that if a person finds himself on Rosh Hashone suddenly crying during davening, it is because he is being judged then. Thus if the crying occurs during the first day, that means that he is judged with “Dina Kashia”, But if it occurs during the second day, it means that he is judged with “Dina Rafia”.

The lesson from this is: That if we feel a sudden Hisorerus that brings us to tears, instead of stifling it we should rather take advantage to use the open doors of tears, to do Tshuve and beg Hashem for forgiveness!

On Shabbos, says the Bnai Yisoschor, we don’t need the shofar to soften the 2 Dinim – “Dina Kashia” and “Dina Rafia”. Shabbos itself sweetens all Dinim. He adds a beautiful gematria: The 3 letters of Shabbos [in Hebrew] add up to the letters of Kashia Rafia [in Hebrew]. That is to show that Shabbos itself sweetens both Dinim.

In the second part of the mamar we are suggesting an interesting idea, to connect what we learned that there are 2 reasons why we do not blow shofar on Shabbos: One the stated halachic reason, to prevent someone from accidentally carrying, two the kabalistic reason that we do not need shofar to sweeten Din since on Shabbos there is no Din.

In thinking about the halachic reason, one can’t help but think that the Chachomim could have accomplished their objective with a less broad prohibition, for example, perhaps only allowing experts to blow. This leads us to the idea that perhaps there is a connection between the halachic and kabalistic reasons.

You will have to read the mamer to really see the connection but we will give you a little flavor to whet your appetite. The Rema in the halacha of Friday night kidush (Orach Chaim 271:10) says that we start kidush with “Yom Hashishi Vayechulu Hasjamyim”… Because the first letters of this 4 words are the name of the Shem Havay”a, the name that symbolizes Rachamim, a reminder to us of the Zohar that we say on Friday night that Shabbos is mevatel Din.

The mamer shows us that in Kidush for Shabbes that we say on Friday night, we can see that Shabbos substitutes for the Mitzvah of shofar.  It is based on the revelation of the Ariza”l, that when blowing the shofar we should have in mind to be mamatik – sweeten, 3 times the shem “Elokim”, which represents Midas hadin, and by blowing the shofar it turns into Rachamim.

Now let’s look in the parshe of “Vaychulu” that we say in Kidush, and we will see that the shem Elokim is mentioned there exactly 3 times. This is to show that on Shabbos they are sweetened just like by shofar. We continue to explore that this is the reason that in the nussach of Kidush after “Vaychulu”, we mention the Shem Havaya,3 times, to show us that the three names of “Elokim” – Din were turned into 3 names of Rachamim.

This is the reason we eat 3 Seudes on Shabbos, to rejoice the sweetened 3 names of Elokim that turn into Rachamim. And therefore, the Gemore says that whoever eats 3 meals on Shabbes will be saved from the 3 great tragedies of Chevlei Moshiach. The explanation is: The source of the 3 tragedies are from the 3 names of “Elokim” which is midas hadin, and by eating 3 meals we are expressing our Emune that on Shabbes they turn into Rachamim. What a powerful reminder to us of the great holiness of Shabbos.

I want to wish all Chaveirim a Ksive vachasima tove. A good gibentched year with all the trimmings. Long good healthy years full of Torah and Avode. Great Naches from all your lechtike Kinderlich. We should be zoche to hear the shofar of Mushiach Tzidkeinu bimhiru beyumeinu omein.

Pinches

 

~ For the full Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, see the weekly “Hamachne Hachareidi”. ~

Mamar Parshas Nitzovim and Rosh Hashone

 

ON ROSH HASHONE WE MUST BRING BACK
THE GLOW OF HASHEM THAT WE CHASED AWAY!

 

Dear Chaveirim!

This coming Shabbos we will read in the Seifer Torah, as we always do on the Shabbos before Rosh Hashono, Parshas Nitzavim. This is because, as it says in Shulchan Aruch, we want to separate the curses that we read last week in parshas Ki Savo from Rosh Hashono. Therefore, I decided to dedicate this week’s mamar to connect it with Rosh Hashone, so we can get a taste of the great kedushe of Rosh Hashno.

Parshas Nitzovim begins with the posuk:

You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem your God: Your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers – all the men of Israel; your small children, your women, and your ger who is in the midst of your camp, from the chopper of your wood to the drawer of your water”.

Seforim point out that in this posuk: “Atem Nitzavim hayom kulchem lifnei Hashem Elokeichem” – “You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem your God”, we find a reference to Rosh Hashono, because according to the Zohar the word “HAYOM– TODAY refers to Rosh hashono when Hashem judges the world, the day on which all men pass and stand before Him annually.

The Bal HaTanya points out a interesting observation. In this posuk 10 levels of the Jewish people are mentioned: heads, tribes, elders, officers, all men of Israel, small children, women, ger, chopper of wood, drawer of water”. These 10 levels represent the 10 character traits that every human being contains. All of whom stand before Hashem on Rosh Hashono.

The Ra”n points out that on Rosh Hashono we have to be mesaken, what happened on the first Rosh Hashono when the first man was created. Hashem warned him not to eat from the Eitz Hadas, but he couldn’t resist the temptation presented by the yeitzer hura and ate from the forbidden fruit. Adam was punished that same day and was chased out of gan eiden. He did teshuva on that same day and Hashem forgave his sin.

The Arizal explains that when Adam ate from the Eitz Hadas, all Neshomos of Klal Yisroel were included within him, Neshomos that included every conceivable type of person. All of them participated in this rebellious act against the will of Hashem, therefore every person has to be mesaken his Nesama’s chelek of the avayrah.

Every year on the day of Rosh Hashono, each person has to perform introspection and consider if he is continuing the sin of rebelling against Hashem, for which Adam was punished with the curse of “Bzayas Apecha Tochal lechem”. If we do teshuva, we would also hopefully be forgiven as Adam was. Therefore: “Atem Nitzavim Hayom” is not just Adam harishon, but every person in every generation who sinned on that first day of Rosh Hashono when man was created must do teshuva on that day.

In our weekly mamar which is aimed to prepare us for Rosh Hashono, we present an idea which is based on the Medrash, that because of the great sin of the Aitz Hadas the holy Shechina which represents the glow of Hashem left this world. This was a tremendous sin, because as the Medrash explains from the day that the world was created Hashem yearned to rest his Shechina and live with mankind in this world. But this act of defiance chased away the light of Hashem from this world. This caused the world to change, because without the light of Hashem new decrees of pain and suffering were brought into the world, hardship of parnose, sickness and death.

So it is very clear that on this day of Rosh Hashono we must repair what we have ruined, by doing tshuve and bringing back the glow of Hashem into the world. Therefore we focus so strongly in our prayers on Rosh Hashono that the kingdom of Hashem should be recognized by every human being.

This gives us a new idea regarding the great Mitzvah of blowing the Shofer on Rosh Hashono. Rabainu Sadya Goen explains that this is to remind us of the scene
of Kaboles haTorah, when all of Klal Yisroel accepted the Torah on Mount Sinai, and the voice of the Shofer was heard all over the world. It was then that the glow of Hashem came back to this world, so by blowing the Shofer on Rosh Hashono and accepting again to keep the Torah, we are bringing down the glow of Hashem, the Shechine, in this world, thus being mesaken the chet of the Eitz Hadaas.  

A NOTE OF THANKS TO HASHEM

Towards the end of this year I cannot resist to share a few words with you fellow friends. On the first posuk of this parshe: “Atem nitzovim hayom” – “You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem your God“, Rash”i brings the Medresh, that when yidishe kindrlich heard all of the 98 curses mentioned in parshas Ki Sovo, they were devastated and cried out to Moshe Rabeinu: How will we be able to withstand so many curses. Therefore to calm them down Moshe told them: “Atem nitzovim hayom” don’t you see how all of you are standing healthy and alive before Hashem your God!

This is the feeling I have today, a feeling of great thanks that we owe to Hashem. A year has passed with a rollercoaster of great advents. Large corporations that were worth billions of dollars collapsed overnight like a deck of cards. Rich people that thought they own the world, all of a sudden realized that they are poor beggars. And yet here we are at the end of this year standing before Hashem healthy and alive!

What a wonderful year we had, being able to fulfill the cycle of mamorim for this year; having the privilege to share so many new thoughts on the parshe. But it is vital for us to be aware, that it is actually Hashem the chonen leodom daas who shared with us a bit of the depth and beauty of his heilige Torah. It is He who kept and still keeps watch that we wake up in the morning healthy and fresh; that we are able to breathe properly; that we are able to feed our Kinderlich; that we go out to do our duties and arrive home safely. How much thanks do we owe to Hashem for the previous year, and how much more do we need to be mispalel for the coming year.

Rather the matter is very near you

Dear Chaveirim! In less than two weeks we will stand trial on Rosh Hashone before Hashem the great king of all kings. We will have to give a detailed report of all the things we had to do and didn’t; on all the things we shouldn’t have done and we unfortunately did. Can we dear say that we did all we had to do? How many thousands of Broches did we say during the year without proper kavone? I don’t think it is worthwhile to start counting all the wrong things we did; unfortunately the Soten will probably do a better job.

But we must remember and believe the great Chesed Hashem did with us, giving us the opportunity to do tshuve and fix everything we did wrong. The yeitzer hura tries to trap us in his net by telling us how much we had sinned and how hard it is for us to do tshuve. But as usual, he lies, because that is the greatness of Hashem that gave us such easy opportunity to rectify everything with tshuve.

How pure and wonderful is this message mentioned in this weekly parshe (chapter 30 posuk 11) according to the Ramban, who says that the posuk is referring to the mitzvah of teshuve:

“For this commandment that I command you today, it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in heaven [for you] to say, who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it. Nor is it across the sea [for you] to say, who can cross to the other side of the sea for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it. Rather the matter is very near you, in your mouth and your heart to perform it”.

So until next week when we will talk about the first day of Rosh Hashone that falls on a Shabbes day, why is it that we don’t blow the Shofer, let us all have a gutten and lechtiken Shabbes, a wonderful week of saying Slichos begging Hashem for forgiveness.

Pinches

~ For the full Mamar in Lashon Hakodesh, see the weekly “Hamachne Hachareidi”. ~