Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Birchas Gevuros - A Surprising Understanding of "Nefesh" and Techias Hameisim

I am pleased to present this past Sunday's Baltimore Community Kollel Rav Pincus Chaburah by evanescent friend Reb Yerachmiel. Here is Reb Yerachmiel's introduction to the shiur in his own words:

Baruch Hashem, we had a nice shiur Sunday night. We are finding out that it's hard to teitch-up "Gevuros" without getting into inyanim of Techiyas Ha'Maysim, so it's been some uncharted territory (for us non-kabbalists). Nonetheless, be'ezras Hashem next week hope to conclude peshat and then veer off into the nuts and bolts of techiyas hamaysim- who/what/where/when/why and how!!!!

In our most recent shiur we continued studying the intricacies of the second beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, Berchas "Gevuros" on the levels of p'shat, deeper kavanos and words of chizuk, while continuing to grow in the fundamental arena of "Kirvas Elokim Le Tov". In particular we examined the words "Morid Ha'tal" through "Umi Domeh Lach", learned an Arizal/Zohar/Medrash/Ramchal (all quoted by the Sifse Chaim) which was a major chiddush to all regarding the status of the "nefesh" of a Jew upon death, and were treated to a guest appearance and classic tzu'shtels from the Rosh Kollel of the Baltimore Community Kollel, Ha'Rav Nesanel Kostelitz shlita.

You can listen to the shiur online HERE or download it HERE. Enjoy!

-Dixie Yid

(Picture courtesy of wallpapers)

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Anonymous said...

The Goldman shiurs are getting better and better. I still marvel at Reb Goldman's ability to give an incredibly high level shiur while still allowing for it to accesbale to someone like me. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Relevant to the shiur. . .Quoted from R' Boruch Leff's book, Shabbos In My Soul, pgs. 230-232


With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that we find Kabbalistic sources telling us the food we eat at Melava Malka will sustain us at the time of resurrection of the dead. Kaf HaChaim (ibid.) cites the idea that this bone, either called ‘luz’ or ‘naskoy’, does not derive any nourishment from food except the Melava Malka. This bone was the only part of the body that did not benefit from the sinful act of eating the forbidden fruit of the aitz hadaas. It remained pure and unaffected by the physical lust and temptation which entered into us with the eating of the forbidden tree.

As Nefesh HaChaim (Shaar Aleph) explains, before the sin, the yetzer hara, evil temptation, was external. We clearly understood what good and evil was and we were not driven to rationalize our misguided behaviors due to our physical drives. After the sin, the yetzer hara entered into us and we became clouded with lusts and desires motivating us to engage in forbidden behavior. We became people with a mixture of ‘tov and ra’, good and bad, animating us. The entire world, even the food that we eat has this combination of tov and ra within it.

Therefore, Rav Tzadok writes, if the luz bone remained pure and removed from the effects of the aitz hadaas and yetzer hara, the regular food that we have, with its mixture of tov and ra, cannot nourish it. Only the food of the Melava Malka can nourish it. Even the food of the Shabbos meals has some component of physical gratification, shelo l’shem shamayim. It is only motzei Shabbos, when our stomachs are full from the Shabbos delicacies, and our eating is done purely for the mitzvah, that the luz bone can ingest food, which now contains holiness and sanctity .

Kabbalistic seforim write that the luz bone is the source and root of the person. At death, it does not disintegrate, and cannot get destroyed. If you put it in a fire, it does not burn; if you try to smash it with a hammer, it does not become ground up. The luz bone is the bone that will grow from the tal, dew of techiyas hamaisim that Hashem will shower down.

Rav Tzadok and Rav Dessler say that the luz bone’s indestructibility is not meant in the physical sense. Tragically, we know millions of Jews throughout history who have been totally cremated. The luz bone’s ruthless survival is meant in the spiritual plane. The essence of the person, the nekudas ha’emes, never truly dies. This is the aspect of us that will make techiyas hamaisim feel like we are waking up from a long nap rather than a total re-birth, since the luz bone never became ‘destroyed.’

See B’Maalas Hashabbos, Volume 1, page 511 who quotes Kitzur HaShelah saying the same. See also Mateh Moshe there who says Melava Malka’s purpose is to strengthen our emunah in techiyas hameisim. Just as the luz bone only receives pleasure after 7 days, so too the entire body will receive its ultimate reward and pleasure after 70 years on this earth.
See Michtav M’Eliyahu Volume 4, page 155 and Machshavas Charutz 15a