Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger - Seudas Moshiach Drasha 5772

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Seudas Moshiach drasha from this Acharon Shel Pesach. You can see past write-ups of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Sheudos Torahs here and get thousands of his shiurim in mp3 format at

Special thanks this week to our holy brother Dr. Zev Alexander for his help with the story at the end of the drasha. 

Rav Moshe Weinberger
Seudas Moshiach Drasha 5772
Rav Yitzchok Hutner: The Avodah of Issru Chag

(Original text of the new Maamerei Pachad Yitzchok Pesach (Maamar 113, p.420) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

It's Hashgacha Pratis that right before Yom Tov they published a new set of over 400 pages of the Pachad Yitzchok from Rav Hutner זצ״ל. There are several Torahs there about these days. This particular one is "Chelek Beis" of what we were talking about this morning (click here for the Acharon Shel Pesach Yizkor Drasha).

The parting from Shabbos is called "Melaveh Malkah", the parting from Yom Tov is called "Issru Chag". The reason for the difference between them is that the Kedusha of Shabbos comes from above, in a fixed and permanent way. However the Kedusha of Yom Tov comes through "מקדש ישראל והזמנים" (Who sanctifies Yisroel and the festive seasons), the initiative of Klal Yisroel who is responsible for Kedushas Hamoadim.

Thus Shabbos that doesn't come through our intervention also leaves of it's own accord. It suffices to "escort her", as one would someone who is parting from us. However with Yom Tov, that was brought in through our sanctification, the Avoda of it's parting also belongs to us. This is  "Issru Chag". We shall explain one of the ways to do this Avoda.

Shabbos and Yom Tov are different. Shabbos is woven into the fabric of creation. It comes on it's own and it leaves on it's own. And at the end of Shabbos all we can do is be "Melave Malka", all we can do is "escort" the Shabbos Queen on her way out.

In the case of Yom Tov, we help bring it in (by consacrating the Chodesh when there is a Sanhedrin), and when it's over we have "Issru Chag". There is an Avoda that WE have to do in order to hold on to the spirit of the Yom Tov.

Chazal explains (Yoma 69) the reason for the name "אנשי כנסת הגדולה" (Men of the Great Assembly): they returned the Crown (of Hashem) to its original Glory. The Neviim said "strangers are croaking in His sanctuary, where is His awesomeness? Strangers enslave His children, where is His power?" They (the Men of the Great Assembly) came and said "to the contrary! There we can see His Awesomeness, there we can see His power".

The 70 nations of the world are constantly tormenting us, and Hashem keeps silent. All it would take is for Hashem to give one "scream" and the whole world would be turned upside down. But He chooses not to, He chooses to restrain Himself, He keeps silent, and the Anshey Kneses Hagedolah praised him for it.

But we have yet to grasp the depth of this praise. We can only do this through the words of Chazal (Gittin 56) on the passuk (Shmos 16:11) "מי כמוך באלים ה׳ - מי כמוך באלמים ה׳" (Who is like You amongst the mighty ones Hashem - who is like You amongst the silent ones). Almim refers to the time of His silence. Just like we are able to recognize "Mi kamocha" (who compares to you) in times of good and revelation of "B'eilim", we should also be able to see "Mi kamocha" at times of silence, at times of destruction and difficulties for Yisroel. This is "B'almim" (in silence). However the understanding of "Almim" is interconnected to that of "Eilim". We learn from this that the power that comes from such recognition at a time of "Almim", draws it's nourishment from the times of "B'eilim".

We needed to go through the Yam Suf and see the Glory of Hashem at the moment of "מי כמוך באלים ה׳" (Who is like You amongst the mighty ones Hashem), to be able to endure the long years of "מי כמוך באלמים ה׳" (who is like You amongst the silent ones), of the Galus. Only someone who "saw" the aspect of "B'eilim" can possibly endure the times of "B'almim".

These words have been said regarding Klal Yisroel during periods of revelation, versus periods of hiddenness and destruction. However words of Torah apply to all generations equally just as they do to each and every Jewish soul. The same line drawn regarding Klal Yisroel, applies as well to each individual Jew. It's written regarding the passuk (Shir Hashirim 1:16) עיניך יונים" (your eyes are doves-like) that when the dove wonders away from her nest, she does so only to a distance where she can still look back to it. We should learn from this regarding our avodah, that at times of lowly feelings and rut, we must look back to our uplifting times of inspiration, the times of "Eilim", and draw from them the strength for our avodah at times of "Almim" (Divine silence).

The Yonah never flies so far that it can't see where it came from.

As the Yom Tov and its service come to an end, we must act like the dove and turn our heads back to recall the spiritual elevation we experience during them. How great was our learning and our davening during those days! From this we must draw the strength for (our service during) the regular days.

To help us with such a challenge we partake in a celebration, one where we focus on our longing as we part from the Chag.

We are now leaving leaving Yom Tov and going back to the world of "Almim". Back to the world of work, of computers, etc. we have to make sure to be able to look back and not loose sight of where we came from: the world of "Eilim", of davening, of hallel, of the Seder. We have to make sure to hold on to that world and bring it with us on our way out, as we return to the spiritual silence of mundane life.

The opposite is, unfortunately, what often happens between husband and wife. Shorty after the wedding reception is over, and Sheva Brochos are finished, and the routine sets in, they forget. They loose sight of the feelings, the emotions of those early moments and they start living in a world of "B'almim". We have to be able to look back at the Chupah, at those early times of the world of "B'eilim". The same happens with our children. As they grow and the problems, difficulties and challenges start getting bigger, we start losing track of the days when they were young, beautiful and innocent. But we have to be able to look back at the early days and hold on to them. This is the avodah called "Issru Chag".

After all these years of Galus, of living in the world of "B'almim", we never stopped looking at Hashem with the eyes of the world of "B'eilim", for even a moment. Nor has Hashem ever stopped looking at us with those same eyes. We are still waiting for that moment soon, when we will be able to see it again with clarity and say "מי כמוך באלים ה׳".

Today, the last day of Pesach, is the Yahrtzeit of Reb Yitzchok of Vorke zy"a. By the Seder that year, he was already very sick and people were not sure how he was going to make it. When he gotooto the Piyut "Lecha u'lecha" where it says "שנאניו יאמרו לו וכו׳" he stopped. It's not clear what "שנאניו" means. The usual translation into English is that it refers to angels. However Rav Yitzchok of Vorke explained it to mean "silence" (from the hebrew "שאנן"). After that he stopped talking, until the day of his passing, the last day of Pesach.

In each generation there are a few Taddikim that can ask for the Geulah and Hashem would have to listen (so to speak). Around that time the chassidim had been begging the Rebbe to beseech Hashem to bring Moshiach and stop Jewish suffering. Reb Ytzchok Vorker's whole life was about this, about helping Jews. He was a talmid of the Lelover, and was the predecessor to the chassidic line of  Vorke and Amshinov, where everything is about Ahavas Yisroel without any limits, everything is about asking Hashem for other Jews and for Klal Yisroel. But for the last moments of his life he stopped talking.  He entered a state of "B'almim". This must have made his silence so extremely painful. Knowing he was one of the few in his generation that could have done something to end the Jewish suffering, and yet he chose silence. The Tzaddik understood that it was Hashem's will that he be silent.

There's an amazing story about what happened after Reb Ytzchok Vorker was Niftar.

Reb Yitzchok Vorker was very close to Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk. After his fathers passing, Reb Mendel of Vorka was very upset that his father had not communicated with him at all, not even in a dream. Some time after the shiva, he decided to go talk to his father's close friend, Reb Menachem Mendel of Kotzk.

When he got there the Kotzker asked him what his father had said. Reb Mendel told him there had been only silence. The Kotzker then said that he he had also heard nothing from the Rebbe, so he decided to go look for him in Shomayim. By purifying himself and using certain names of Hashem, he had been able to ascend to there. He was able reach the Heichal (palace) of the Avos. He asked if they had seen Reb Yitzchok of Vorke. They answered that he had been there but left. After that he had gone to see Moshe Rabbeinu ע"ה, but he received the same answer. The Kotsker then explained that he had gone from Heichal to Heichal visiting all the greatest Tzaddikim and everywhere he received the same answer "he was here but he left".

Growing increasingly desperate, the Kotzker had gone through unbelievable difficulties and trials, but was finally able to make it all the way up in Shamayim, to the Ken HaTzippor (the Palce of the Bird's Nest), where Moshiach sits and waits to bring the Geulah. And there he had asked Moshiach himself if he had seen Reb Yitzchok of Vorke. But the answer was the same "he was here but he left". The Kotsker asked what he could do to find him, and was told to look for him past the great forest that lies at the far edge of Shomayim. He started in that direction and soon found the thickest, darkest forest he had ever seen. It was extremely difficult to get through it, but with great effort he was able to make it. He finally reached a great ocean, with enormous and frightening waves all the way up to the highest levels. There he saw an old Jew with a shtekel, a walking stick, sitting perched on a cliff overlooking the frightening sea. He was sitting there quietly looking at the waves. The Kotzker got closer and realized it was his friend Reb Yitzchok of Vorka.

He approached him and asked him "Reb Yitzchok, what are you doing here? You could be with the Avos or in a palace learning Torah with Rabbi Akiva and Moshe Rabbeinu. I looked for you all over, in the places that are fit for a Tzaddik to reap the rewards of his place in the world to come. Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe Rabbeinu, even Moshiach are looking for you. What are you doing here?" And Rav Yitzchok answered "Yes, I was by all of those places but I couldn’t stay there yet. So I left and I came here." He then asked "Do you know what this ocean is?" The two Tzadikim stared at the waves loudly crashing below them as they stood atop the rocks above.

Reb Yitzchak explained that the ocean was made of all the tears the Jewish people have shed throughout the years of their bitter Galus. "And I vowed to Hashem not to move from this place until the Galus is over and all the Jewish tears are wiped away". 

We need to understand how much each of our tears mean to Hashem.

Rav Yitzchok D'vorka kept silent in his last days in the aspect of "מא תיצעק אלי" (Why do you cry out to Me?), of "ואתם תחרישון" (and you will be silent). He was able to understand the times of "B'almim" because he had spent his whole life living with "B'eilim", doing for others and never giving up on a Jew. He waits silently by theOcean of Tears, crying together with us as we await the thunderous end of the years of silence.

Hashem Yisborach should help us that we should never again have to look back to Mitzrayim, or any Tzaros or suffering, but only the Hisgalus (revelation) and Geulah we saw at Yam Suf. We should remember the Shira that we sang at that time and will soon sing again, "Az yashir etc.", when we will be able to go back to that world of "מי כמוך באלים ה׳" and see together the גאולה השלימה והאמיתית בב״א.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once again thanks for all these. It gives me such pleasure and growth to read them.

Boruch Leff