May 26, 2016

Appreciate Accomplishments

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 8:25 am

Every day we look at ourselves in the mirror and think, “How can something, someone be both so low and so high?” One minute I am flying with my soul so close to Hashem and the next minute, I am in a pit of hell drowning. We ask, “Who am I really? I have come so far but I am still so far.” Life is like climbing Mount Everest. If you climb to much elevation in one day, your body can’t handle the change. At each peak, we must stop and evaluate our spiritual and physical health. At the same time, we don’t appreciate that we reach this new peak in our climb. Therefore, we either fall from the cliff or attempt to climb too quickly even higher. Rather, we need to stop at each peak, find the joy in our accomplishments and then we will climb the mountain. Har Sinai was a small mountain but it still took Moses 40 days. This was because he paced himself and was happy at every days accomplishment.

Pairing Socks and the World

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 8:25 am

Why is it so difficult to find 2 matching socks? In everything in life, it is the pairing of people, events and actions that bring completeness and success. While it should really be easy to pair 2 socks, it’s simply not. The pair of sefiros, Keter and Malchut brings complete unity. The two sefiros yearn to unite but that too is difficult. So I finally found matching socks this morning but it took much effort. It was worth it though, because now all day I can appreciate that my socks match and are complete. Everything is about unity and being complete. It isn’t supposed to be easy to pair socks, people or events. Nothing in life is simple yet everything is complete simplicity. Remember this next time you pair your socks in the morning or find it difficult to complete something. The end result of effort is the joy of pairing and completion. This is the secret of Ma’aseh Bereshith (the Creation of the World), (My Divar Torah from pairing my socks this morning)

May 9, 2016

Vort for sons Bar Mitzvah and Siyum HaShas

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 12:08 pm

Vort on gemarah Tannis 23
I would like to thank everyone for coming to the bar mitzvah siuda for Yaakov Yosef. In Talmud jerusalmi Tannis, we learn out that when Moshe Rabbenu was holding the luchos and the Jewish people sinned with the chait haegel, golden calf, Hashem grabbed the luchos to take them away from Moshe but Moshe’s hand was stronger so Hashem was not able to take it away. Moshe so to speak, overpowered Hashem’s right hand as it says in Devarim 34:12.
Moshe understood, according to the Yefeh Mareh, that it was better to have broken tablets then to have no tablets at all. The Korban HaEidah explains that Had Hashem would have either taken back the tablets or they would fly away on their own. Rabbi Nechemya explains that it was actually the words themselves that flew away in the end. Rabbi Yochanon said in the name of R. Yosah Bar Abaye, the Jews would not have merited receiving the second set should moshe not have saved the first luchos as he did.
So how did moshe Rabbenu overpower Hashem, so too speak and save the luchos? He did this by means of logical arguments that the Israelites should receive the Torah despite the sin of the Golden Calf, or by means of prayer (Yefeh Mareh)
Rebbe Nachman teaches in Likutey Moharan that Hashem desires that a person overcome Him with words of prayer. He wants the Tzaddikim to rule the world instead of Him and for people to lay out a plan before Him to bring about their own salvation through mitzvos and prayer to Him.
The Bar Mitzvah boy, his life is completely changing. He is now given the power and wisdom to think on his own, arguments in Torah, prayer and to complete himself as a person. He says the Birchos HaTorah prayer at the Torah accepting the Luchos and the responsibility it contains. But what happens, he is just like all of us, smashes the luchos with his sins but he is given a yetzer hatov on his bar mitzvah to succeed and to start over each day. He is given the ability to repair the broken letters and we do this every morning through reciting birchos hatorah. We are fixing our souls to reconnect to the blue print of our life, the Torah itself. When I say the birchos prayer in the morning and it flows with kavanah. I know that day that I am going to succeed in my Torah study. It is the Torah that is going to give me life and success in our Torah study is the most important thing. It is our life and the air we breathe.
I’d like to say that the reason Moshe rabbenu was able to save the luchos and overpower Hashem was because he said the prayer that morning of Birchos HaTorah with Kavanah. This is how he was then able to argue a defense and keep the Torah for us. It was his love of the Torah and his understanding that even with the broken tablets, we would be able to do teshuvah and be worthy of another set. Even a Jew that is broken, can always be fixed and be worthy of a complete set of luchos.
It is how we start our day that will guarantee that the Torah we learn that day will remain with us. It was moshe Rabbenu’s commitment to the Torah, it is our personal commitment to daily acceptance of the Torah that allows the Torah to protect all mankind.
When a scholar studies a blot of Gemarah, most of the time, after a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, the letters start to fly away. He forgets his study due to his many sins and being far from Hashem and the True Emes of his neshamah. This is because it’s not enough to just study torah, one has to love and enjoy his study, cleaving to it and holding onto it. If you don’t say birchos Hatorah with all your heart, with all the love of Torah and the desire to keep it close to you… will Hashem give it to you as a gift like He did to Moshe Rabbenu on the 40th day as it says in the midrash? And if you don’t beseech Hashem in arguments and prayers to overcome Him and prove to Him that you should keep the Torah… will you not break the luchos with your sins and the words fly away. We must not study the Torah but we must beg Hashem to give it to us as a gift, that we should remember it, understand it and for the Torah to become a part of us. Then instead of the holy words flying away from us, they will come to us with new chiddushei torah.
This week, Yaakov has been given the gift of the Torah. He reminds us all that just like last week he was just a simple twelve year old boy, whose life has suddenly changed overnight to something much greater, so too, each day is our bar mitzvah, we have the choice to accept the Torah with newness. It is there for us to take, to concur Hashem and to prove that the Torah belongs to us.
Rav Mesharsheya said in the name of rav idi, “regarding all the offerings of the other holidays sin is written. But regarding the offerings of Shavuos, sin is not written. (It leaves out the word chait) The reason for this distinction is as follows, The holy one blessed is He, said to the Jewish people. Since you accepted upon yourself the yoke of Torah. I consider you as though you have never sinned in your life. (Talmud Jerusalmi Rosh Hashanah chapter 4, halacha 9)
Having written Yaakov yosef’s tefillin, I feel like I have been given an extra zechus in being a part of his every day renewal of avodas Hashem. It is a fathers only wish that his son, accept the Torah every day and that it is the boys foundation of his life. May the gift of his bar mitzvah be a daily blessing for the rest of his life and may he renew his commitment to the torah each day. Thereby being free of Chait, sin and attached to Hashem at all times.
(I thank Hashem that I can on this day join him in the recitation of the Hadran for shas which amplifies the very words I have spoken.)