Friday, March 26, 2010

The Four Questions - Exceprt & Hebrew & English From R' Itchie Mayer

Here is Reb Itchie Mayer Morgenstern's Torah on Parshas Vayikra, with English excerpt and full text in both English and Hebrew in pdf form. You can send an e-mail to this address to subscribe to receive Rav Morgenstern's Torah in your e-mail box every week.

Whenever a person has doubts about whether his prayers are effective or not, he must hold strong to pure and simple faith. In truth, the Jewish people have an innate azus d’kedushah because they know with certainty that their prayers act as they should to draw down Hashem’s mercy and kindness because they are invigorated by their knowledge of the Torah and Hashem’s Name. This is what gives us strength and courage—it makes us like Boaz, “strength is in him.”

This is the inner meaning of the children having all of their questions answered, “Here the son asks,” this is the time when all that we ask for is answered for the good. This is the night when we receive an infusion of azus d’kedushah from above so that we can ask for all that we require materially and spiritually, so that we can conquer every battle without getting confused on whether what we seek is lishmah or not. These are the tools we need to receive the light of the redemption, and each person has unique holy sparks that only he needs to repair in order to help bring the geulah.

From where do we get this azus d’kedushah so that we can redeem prayer? From the Torah itself, which is the aspect of Rachel and which shines brightly on Pesach night. It illuminates prayer, and then this confident and strong prayer empowers the person to contemplate the light of G-dliness and the Torah alone. It is forbidden for a person to allow himself to fall into doubts about the efficacy of his prayer, because that is a sure path to melancholy and sadness since one must avoid speculation and philosophizing in the world of Asiyah completely. If one just holds strongly to his azus d’kedushah and the knowledge that every single word of prayer is precious and accepted, he will be able, in the merit of the tzaddikim, to draw down the light of Da’as and understand that his driving off the doubts was itself the holy spark that he needed to repair. This allows him to re-enter Hashem’s service with freshness and energy. On Pesach night, he can sit confidently like a little child who trusts that his parents will give him all the gifts—he will know with certainty that Hashem will provide him with all of the salvation that he requires. This is how Yosef saves Yehudah/Dovid.

Shabbos HaGadol

The Chasam Sofer taught that Shabbos HaGadol is particularly auspicious for the arrival of Moshiach. The K’sav Sofer explained that even though the Arizal taught that Eliyahu HaNavi will not come on Shabbos, nevertheless Moshiach will come before Shabbos and remain hidden until he is revealed on Shabbos. This Shabbos [before Pesach] is especially suited to the revelation of the concept of, “His Name is sure”—that the Jewish people have the ability to bring the redemption provided that they do not fall into doubts about the worthiness or effectiveness of their prayers. “His Name is sure”—we certainly can bring about the required salvation. In the merit of this faith, the redemption is drawn down.

This is the meaning of the haftarah of Shabbos HaGadol: that Hashem derives pleasure when a person connects with the holiness of prayer and doesn’t fall into the doubts of the world of Asiyah. Rather, the night of Pesach empowers him to attain clear and pure faith that Hashem hears ours prayers. This is why the redemption really depends on achieving a yichud in the world of Asiyah, which in turn strengthens us to beg for the redemption just as they cried out in Egypt. “And we will cry out to Hashem our G-d, and Hashem will hear our voices and see our affliction.”

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