Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger - Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Shabbos Hagadol 5772

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Seudos drasha from this Shabbos Hagadol. He has not yet reviewed this version so any mistakes are due to the writer (and NOT Rav Weinberger OR my dear friend Dixie Yid).  You can see past write-ups of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Sheudos Torahs here and get thousands of his shiurim in mp3 format at

Rav Moshe Weinberger
Shalosh Seudos Drasha Shabbos Hagadol 5772
The Akeidas Yitzchok of Alexander: Simple Emunah, the secret path to greatness

(Original text of the Akeidas Yitzchok (Parshas Tzav p.42) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

This is a Torah from the Alexander Rebbe הי״ד who died Al Kiddushin Hashem. We have very few Torohs from him. This one continues what we were discussing before (click here to read the Shabbos Hagadol Drasha).

We can try to explain the reason this Shabbos before Pesach is called Shabbos Hagadol as follows. The essence of Emunah in Hashem Yisborach has to be אמונה פשוטה (simple Emunah), without questioning. We shouldn't inquire after Hashem's deeds, but it should be sufficient for those who come from a "putrid drop" that they were even deserving to serve Hashem. How can we question Hashem's actions? As it's written (Tehillim 92) "איש בער לא ידע" (A boorish man cannot know); (Tehillim 73) "ואני בער ולא אדע, בהמות הייתי עמך. ואני תמיד עמך וכו׳" (And I was a boor and unknowing, like a mindless beast I was with You. And still I was always with You).

It was through their complete and simple Emunah that Bnei Yisroel merited to come out of the Land of Egypt, as it's written (Shmos 12) "כשש מאות אלף רגלי וגו׳" (Like six hundred thousand legs etc.) רגל (legs) refers to Emunah. As its written (Shmos 4) "ויאמן העם וגו׳" (And the people had Emunah).

This what our sages stated (Kiddushin 35) "גדול מצווה ועושה ממי שאינו מצווה ועושה" (Greater is the one who performs a commandment due to being commanded to do so, then the one who performs it without being commanded). This means that one who acts upon being commanded by Hashem, is greater then one who acts instead after a process of intellectual inquiry. As we say (in davening) "אלקינו ואלקי אבותינו" (Our G'd and the G'd of our forefathers). "Our G'd" refers to the side of inquiry, "the G'd of our forefathers" refers to the side of Emunah.

It's much better to do Mitzvos just because we are a מצווה (we were commanded), with אמונה פשוטה, then to do it because we reached an intellectual conclusion that this is good for us, a good idea, or that it's a nice thing to do.

This is the question of the Rasha (in the Haggadah) "מה העבודה הזאת לכם" (What is this service to "you"), because for "you" the Avodah doesn't have any reason or understanding. This is also the claim of the Satan and the nations of the world (regarding the Parah Adumah) "what is this Mitzvah, what are the reasons behind it" (Rashi on Bamidbar 19:2).

The Rasha tends to pose as a great intellectual.

Our answer should be that we are not Rashayim to go inquiring after the deeds and Mitzvos of the Creator ית״ש, we are only to believe in Him with the same complete and simple Emunah of our forefathers in Egypt. As we see when the Egyptians saw each and every Jew take a lamb for his Korban Pesach and tie it to their bedposts. They asked them "what is this to you?". The Jews answered "it's to be slaughtered for a Pesach offering as commanded to us by Hashem". This means that they were fulfilling this commandment only because it was ordered by the Creator ית״ש, without any need for reasons, only out of complete and simple Emunah.

We didn't give the Egyptians long explanations about the Korban Pesach. Of course we could have said many things if we had wanted, as with all Mitzvos, but it just wasn't necessary. At that moment it was all being done with our אמונה פשוטה.

This is why this Shabbos before Pesach is called Shabbos Hagadol, because at that time they merited that simple and complete Emunah, that's in the aspect of ״גדול״ מצווה ועושה כו׳ ("Great" is the one who performs a commandment due to being commanded to do so etc.). Even in Mitzrayim where they were in a very lowly state, in the aspect of "bare and naked", through the Korban Pesach they merited the lofty level of Complete Emunah in Hashem's Mitzvos without questioning. As its written (Shmos 12) "זות חקת הפסח וגו׳" (This is the decree of the Pesach offering), in the aspect of "אמת ואמונה חוק ולא יעבור״ (True and faithful, it is an unbreachable decree [from the morning prayer service]).

The highest level a Jew can reach is to be a מצווה.

This is what Hashem promised Abraham Avinu ע״ה (Bereshis 15) "ואחרי כן יצאו ברכוש גדול" (and they will leave with great wealth). That is they left with Emunah, and this was the "רכוש "הגדול ("Great" wealth), as in ״גדול״ מצווה ועושה כו׳. This is what is brought down "זות חקת הפסח וגו׳".

It's written in Tehillim (119:80) "יהי לבי תמים בחקיך" (May my heart be perfect in your decrees). David Hamelech is saying "Master of the World, when I'm occupied in Your decrees don't give the Yetzer Harah permission to harm me; as it's written (Tehillim 37) "הורני ה׳ דרכך" (Hashem show me Your path), let me go in Your path and the Yetzer Harah shouldn't lead me to err". The meaning of this is that the Yetzer Harah should not incite us to question and inquire after His Mitzvos. But that we should be able to fulfill all His commandments as if they were a Chok, with complete and simple Emunah, in the aspect of "Shabbos Hagadol".

The Kedusha of Shabbos also helps to merit simple Emunah. On the Shabbos Hagadol through the Holiness of Shabbos we merit the aspect of "גדול", as in ״גדול״ מצווה ועושה כו׳. We also merit the aspect of "מצות תאכל במקום קדוש" (Matzos you shall eat in a holy place), to eat the food of "מהימנותא" (Faith), of complete Emunah. This is the true preparation for these holy days.

This are the words of the Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa זי״ע as is brought down in the Sefer Ramasayim Tzofim:

"'ובקשתם משם' (and you will ask from there) This means all wisdom and all inquiries to understand Hashem and His Unity are called 'משם', meaning from some other place. But the truth of the truth is ' במקומו ממש' (from this very place), meaning in ones own heart. As it says 'One should purify his traits properly ומ׳ then he will find in his heart His  Divinity'".

"שם" (there) is the place of the intellect, "פה" (here) is the place of the heart. And it's in the heart that we need to work on our Middos and our Avodas Hashem.

Hashem Yisborach should help us, at the seder when we say ״ברוך המקום״, He should take us from this Makom to the Makom where we need to be, with the גאולה השלימה והאמיתית בב״א.

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