Friday, October 30, 2009

Marching Toward Eretz Yisroel - R' Itchie Mayer Morgenstern on Lech Lecha

The following is a section from Rav Itchie Mayer Morgenstern's drasha from this past week on Parshas Lech Lecha. You can get the links to download the full pdf versions of the write-up of these shiurim in both Hebrew and in English translation below:
The entire Torah is actually the word of Hashem cloaked in a seemingly physical form but which reaches the supernal worlds. The garments that reach the three lower worlds are the halachos, the pilpulim (complex reasonings), and the dikdukim (detailed exegesis). It is only through these aspects that the supernal worlds and all souls are rectified. But there is an even higher level of connection, the aspect of Atzilus, which one can access through the vital emunah that is hidden within. Our avodah is to attain the deep pleasantness and sweetness of the Torah, which is the source of our souls. Through this pleasantness we draw down such a deep illumination that we merit to receive the entire Torah. But one who does not strive to access this higher level will not truly attain the Torah.

This is the deeper meaning of Rashi who tells us that it is specifically through traveling to Eretz Yisrael that we merit “children,” that our Torah bears fruit through feeling a deep pleasure in our learning. It is only on this level that one truly attains a complete knowledge of the Torah.

“Every Step I Take is Toward Eretz Yisrael”

When a person first tries to turn his path toward Eretz Yisrael, however, the forces of evil tell him that he will never attain true mastery of the revealed Torah if he makes dveikus through Torah his goal. Since the way to Eretz Yisrael “diminishes children,” this can mean that one risks losing the revealed aspects of Torah that are symbolized by children since the offspring of the righteous are their good deeds. Another way to understand this is that the evil within argues that focus on dveikus will cause one to do less good deeds than if he would just act without trying to maintain any special intentions.

Another potential danger of the path to Eretz Yisrael could be that through focusing on dveikus one’s good name will suffer. [What will people think if he suddenly starts to serve Hashem with his entire heart? He might not fit in with the crowd, and this would tarnish his reputation.] Surely one who feels degraded will be unable to truly connect to Hashem anyway, since one’s name represents his mission in life. In addition, the yetzer claims that too much focus on the spiritual could make him lose his livelihood.

Hashem counters all of these claims by promising Avraham that his journey will bring him children, wealth, and renown. It is incumbent on every Jew to do some serious self-searching. Why doesn’t he feel the powerful light and vitality of focusing on the holy Names of Hashem? Why isn’t he like the holy tzaddikim who ascended to Eretz Yisrael?
Toras Chochom on Lech Lecha
Toras Chochom on Lech Lecha in English

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1 comment:

NonymousG said...

i heard a different, but equally interesting pshat that i am led to believe is a sfas emess

q. why say "...mibeis ovicha...", why not say "go to canaan"?

a. a jew never arrives at his destination, a jew must always seek to improve himself and move "onwards and upwards".