Parshas Devarim (video in Ram missing link)
How are we supposed to feel the real meaning of the 9 days and the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh, if we are so removed from its destruction? We are much closer to the events of the past then we realize. Chazal Teach us, “If the Temple is not built in one’s days, then it is as if it was destroyed in our lifetime.” So we are not as distant as we thought after-all.
Duing the 9 days the air in Eretz Yisrael seems stagnant. Two thousand years have passed and we haven’t moved that much from our place. The three weeks are to remind us of the stillness of our actions in serving Hashem. There is no doubt that we are not moving like we should in our avodas Hashem to Hashem.
This week Moshe Rabbeinu reviewed all the events and experiences that happened to the Jewish people during their years in the wilderness. He realized how unaided, by the help of his brethren, he was unable to bear the burden of leadership bringing the Jews close to Hashem. Once the Baal Shem Tov was conducting the traditional tish ceremony when he felt as if there was a flaw in the emotions of the Chassidim. He called out, “Who among us has negative feelings towards my methods of drawing people close to Hashem?” The outsider realizing the amazing insight of the rabbi walked out daring not to bring down the unity of the group.
I heard first hand that a rebbe spoke to one of his chassidim asking him to please stand close to him during his prayers. He said, “I want to elevate my neshamah, all the way to the Kisay HaKavod, one of the highest spiritual attainments, but I need you next to me so that I should not falter.” My friends, the way to come close to Hashem is to draw near to the tzaddikim. By doing so we not only strengthen ourselves but also the tzaddik. When the tzaddikim pray causing all of the worlds above and below to move.
If someone wants to meet a famous person, usually they will attempt to find out who the elite people closest to this person are. Drawing close to these friends they expect to then come closer to this famous person. The same thing takes place in our relationship with tzaddikim who are close to Hashem. By displaying their yearning to come close to Hashem to the righteous man, he too realizes how lucky he is to be so close to Hashem and then he reflects and realizes how truly far he is. He too then wants to draw closer to Hashem. Let us be sure to be a strong link for the tzaddikim we have been drawing to. Moshe Rabbeinu called out to us this week in wonderment as to why we were not standing behind him in his undertaking as leader of Klal Yisrael. He thought to himself, “I can’t come close to Hashem unless you are one of my Chassidim, standing next to me.” We then appointed judges and administrators in order to stand behind him.
The first exile was caused by the sins of idol worship, illicit relations and murder and was redeemed in the merit of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaacov. Our present exile was caused by the sin of loshon hara and baseless hatred, which are the antitheses of Torah. This exile will come to a close through the merit of Moshe and the Torah that was given through him. Why will it come through him and not another? It is because the Torah of Moshe was humility. A person who is humble could never have bad feels towards his family and friends. This is because he realizes that their sins are entirely his fault. The greatness of Moshe was that when the Jewish people sinned he was able to say sincerely to Hashem, “Blot me out of your book,” as I take full responsibility. This is what the Torah of Moshe is all about, taking responsibility. Now that we stand here in the final days of our mourning, let us today finally begin to take responsibility for one another. Responsibility for others doesn’t just bring the redemption, it is the redemption!