Dreaming of Moshiach

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Divrei Torah For Shavuous

Guest post by Reb Ploni

… It is very surprising that the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded on Tuesday night (before He gave us the Torah) that the Jews should separate from their wives (as explained in Gemora Shabbos), and the separation should start immediately … One would have thought that the people would have needed a few days preparation before this … especially because there is an established rule that the Holy One, blessed be He, does not make unfair demands from His creations … and here He did not give any advanced notice but immediately gave a command to separate.

… The reason there was no advance notice is because there were two reasons for the commandment of separation. The first was that separation was a preparation to help each person become detached from materialism so that he would be able to receive spirituality. The second is that this was a test given to the people to check if they were fitting to receive spirituality, meaning to receive the Torah. The test was - would they be willing to immediately detach themselves from materialism, without prior notice. Those who were willing to do that were deemed fitting to receive the Torah…

Therefore the test had to happen specifically without notice, because they needed to be able to immediately detach themselves from materialism. If anyone was not willing to do this, this showed that he was not ready to receive the Torah. To give an example from this world, if G-d forbid, there is a fire, then certainly everyone would drop everything and flee to save their life, because saving their life comes before saving his property … and even if they were not prepared for this beforehand. A person certainly does not need preparation, if G-d forbid there is a fire, to understand that he has to leave everything, his house and his property, since in his heart he understands how precious his life is….

Similarly, when the Holy One, blessed be He wanted to reveal Himself and give the Torah, the people needed to understand that the Torah is life. They needed to be ready in their hearts to separate immediately. Those who were not prepared for this by having planting deeply in their heart the understanding that spirituality is much more important than materialism, and did not realize the true value of the Holy Torah and serving G-d, would be unprepared to suddenly abandon materialism. This was their test. At the time of the giving of the Torah, all of the Jewish nation passed this test, and were worthy of praise.

From this we can learn that someone who wants to merit the crown of Torah needs to have planted deeply in his heart the concept that “Torah is our life and the length of our days” and “is more valuable than gold and pearls” until he is prepared for such a test and be willing to give up everything for the sake of the Torah and its’ commandments. And if, G-d forbid, he will encounter such a test and has no time, not even a moment, to consider things carefully, but immediately willingly gives up all of his material things for the sake of the Holy Torah, in order to save his “true life”, (similar to the case of a sudden fire …); only after he successfully passes such a sudden test can he know that he is truly a “ben Torah” and not just fooling himself. But anyone who G-d forbid is willing to give up learning the Holy Torah, or give up performing its’ commandments because of his own convenience, or because some unpleasant things may occur, certainly such a person has not yet come to the level of a “ben Torah” who is worthy for “Kabalas Hatorah” and the crown of Torah.

Song of Songs (3:1) writes “On the day of his wedding and on the day of the happiness of his heart”. The gemorra explains “the day of his wedding” refers to “Giving of the Torah”, and “the day of the happiness of his heart” refers to “rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash”, may it be rebuilt soon in our days. This is the complete redemption which we are waiting for. Since we see that the verse puts Giving of the Torah next to rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash, we can connect these ideas in other contexts. Just like the preparation for the Giving of the Torah included separating from this world as explained above, and also if they could make this detachment suddenly with no advanced notice, so too this type of sudden separation from this world (materialism) will precede the final redemption. Only someone who truly is not attached to this world will be able to pass this test. Therefore, before the final redemption, we also need to be prepared to go through this type of trial…. As is written in Malachi (3:1), “…And suddenly, the Lord Whom you seek will come to His Temple….”. (Rashi says “the Lord Whom you seek” is The G-d of justice.) [This means that someone who truly searches for the complete redemption, and the spiritual world of truth, will have the Lord appear to him and will merit the complete redemption.]

Someone who is not ready to suddenly disconnect from this world, will not able to pass this test, G-d forbid. So we need to try and put in lots of effort to prepare our heart to be ready for this test. We do not know if at this time we are at the spiritual level needed to pass such a test, or if we are fooling ourselves. We will only know when the test comes, then we will see. We don’t know how difficult this test will be, how sudden it will be, or whether it will be something that will come in one moment. But we need to be ready to detach ourselves from everything in order to receive the spirituality and the truth and the new world.

The easiest way to come close to the Holy One, blessed be He, is through prayer, as is brought down in the holy seferim. Harav Chaim Vital wrote that it is already impossible to spiritually purify and cleanse the body except through prayer…. A person needs to know the treasure which exists in prayer. Even when a person is not able to pray in the proper manner, meaning that he is not pouring out his soul to G-d, as written in sefer Hasidim that prayer is “the happiness of his soul with his G-d”; even if his prayer is on a simpler level, the manner which he expresses his heart to G-d also cleans the heart of a person and this purifies and cleans the person.

Excerpts from divrei Torah said by Rav Aharon Tzvi Rumpler, Parshat Yitro 5761 (translated from the Hebrew).




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו