Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
This is very tough. It should get across the uniqueness of Rav Weinberger's message and convey the fact that the content is deep but intimately connected to our daily lives. It is also nothing that could be considered conventional, trite, or "more of the same." It is quite challenging to come up with a memorable title that conveys the aforementioned message to the reader without resorting to corny puns or exaggerated hyperbole. Quite a task.
We came up with a few ideas (see below). Please vote on those title ideas in the poll at the top of the right sidebar. And more importantly, if you have additional ideas, PLEASE leave those ideas in the comment section. If some seem particularly good, I may create a new poll with the new set of finalists to get more people's thoughts on those. Everybody's help on this is greatly appreciated! May all of this be l'toeles.
- V'zos Hatorah
- Let My People Grow
- Rav Weinberger on the Parsha
- Va'yomer Moshe el Ha'Am
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Usually, Onkolus leaves city names unaltered in his translation, but here, he translates them according to their meaning or significance. For instance, he translates "El'eila" as the Aramaic equivalent of "Argumentative People. And he translates "Nevo," as "Burial Place of Moshe."
This is very different from what he usually does, even though the city names often have discernible meanings elsewhere as well. In addition, many of these city names are used again later in the parsha and he goes back to his usual modus operandi there of not translating/explaining city names.
Does any have any insight into why he does this davka in this pasuk?
Incidentally, this is such a parsha of ahavas ha'aretz, along with the story of the daughters of Tzlafchad last week. Kol tuv!
Friday, June 8, 2012
Rav Tzaddok also talks about the Malach that comes to speak to Manoach. His name is "Peli". It's a "Peleh" that this person that was walking around as a human a few moments ago, in a second becomes a Saraph Hashem. This too is a Peleh, the wonder of a Jew, who in a moment can become a fiery servant of Hashem.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Baal Hatanya, in explaining the severity of forbidden intimate relationships relative to the aveira of hotza'as zera l'vatala, says that in forbidden relationships, the sin is harder to rectify because the chiyus the person delivered over to the side of evil found a vessel in the other person with whom he committed the aveira. A connection remains between them, even after the aveira is over because of that, even if the person claims that he has no connection to the other person.
This is not the case with respect to hotza'as zera l'vatala, however, where there is no other person involved to serve as a vessel for the chiyus he delivers to the side of impurity.
In the parsha, Rashi on the above-cited pasuk, explains that not only does she suffer a terrible death when she drinks the Sota water, but the person with whom she sinned, who is not present at the time, also dies when she drinks. If the two have no connection between them because each merely used the other for their own benefit, by what process could her drinking of the water affect him?
The explanation could be, based on Rashi's explanation, that the connection is, as the Tanya explains, in his chiyus which unpleasantly binds the two of them together.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Shalosh Seudos Drasha Parashas Acharei-Kedoshim 5752
(Original text of the Yismach Yisroel (Pesach Sheini p.129) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)
This is a Torah from the Yismach Yisroel of Alexander.
Tonight we are going into Pesach Sheini. We don't have the Bais Hamikdash right now, and we're all in the Geder of Tameh L'Nefesh u B'Derech Rechoka. But Pesach Sheini is for always! So this is a thought from the Alexander Rebbe on how this applies to us today.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Chazal refers to the Galus as "pregnancy without a Leida (birth)". The Ribono shel Olam should help us that we should be zoche to see the Leida soon with the Geulah HaSheleima VeHaamitis בב״א.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Shalosh Seudos Drasha Parashas Shemini 5752
(Original text of the Maadanei HaShulchan (Shemini p.67) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)
He starts by bringing down a torah from his ancestor Reb Mendele Vishnitzer zy"a.
Hashem Yisborach should help us that we should all be blessed with "ובחרת בחיים, למען תחיה, אתה וזרעך" (choose life, so that you may live, you and your children), and that we should all see together the Geulah HaSheleima VeHaamitis בב״א.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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.
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.
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.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I asked him how the negative, natural traits possessed by gerim, because of the nature of their spiritual roots among the nations, compare to the challenges of a ben Nida.
He answered that each one has different types of challenges. A ben Nida's inclinations can necessitate life-long battles to overcome. On the other hand, he said a ger's pre-gerus challenges (in overcoming certain negative midos and inclinations) are generally greater than the challenges of a ben Nida. But that post-gerus, the ger is generally free of any comparable natural-midos challenges related to his status.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
A continuation of "on slavery"…
Our next encounter with slavery in the Torah, is the slavery of the entire Jewish People. Here we see the evil, cruelty and injustice that we generally ascribe to slavery. We know that this slavery was basic to Hashem's plan for the development of the Jewish People because Hashem informed Avraham Avinu in the bris bein habsorim (covenant between the parts) that his children would be enslaved and afflicted in a land which was not theirs. From the context of that prophecy, it seems that the enslavement of the Jewish People was a necessary prerequisite to inheriting the
Nevertheless, the level of suffering was still able to be determined by our own behavior. The prophecy was that the Jewish People would be in a foreign land, enslaved and afflicted for four hundred years. (Four hundred is the number of negative klipot – impure barriers – that spiritually attack a person and separate them from Hashem. Apparently, each year in exile was to remove one level of klipah.)
Moshe Rabbeinu asked the same question. The Ari z"l gives us a glimpse into the answer, which is more amazing than we could possibly have imagined.
The generation of the flood had very high souls, but they had a very great yetzer hara, as well. They sinned and sinned terribly until Hashem brought the flood upon them and they were drowned. However, they were given another chance, being reincarnated in the generation of the
There is yet another reason why the Jewish People needed to go through the Egyptian exile and enslavement. They needed it to receive the Torah.
And so Hashem would not allow mankind to eat of the Etz HaChaim – the Torah – until they would be purified from the sin of the Etz HaDa'as. Otherwise, the evil would have remained inside of them forever, and the Torah itself would have been contaminated by this evil.
So the sin of Etz HaDa'as, the sin of the golden calf, and the sin of the spies, caused us to lose the easy way to olam habo, Torah, and Eretz Yisrael, respectively. Now they can be gained only through suffering. The sins committed by later generations caused this suffering to become so much more intense. Yet, although we cannot feel this while still in the galus, in the end it will come out even better this way. All the merit of our suffering through the exiles, all the sacrifices we made to be Hashem's people, will be added on, and this merit it so extremely great that it will add so much more, lasting forever and ever.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
(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.
Monday, April 2, 2012
He brings down a Yerushalmi in Makos (2:6) on the pasuk (Vayikra 9:8), "va'yikrav Aharon el hamizbeach," which can be read "and Aharon approached the alter" or, alternatively, as "And Aharon was sacrificed on the alter." The Gemara explains that according to the attribute of justice, one who commits any sin deserves death. In Hashem's mercy, He permits us to offer a sacrifice instead. While doing so, one should think that everything that is being done to the animal (slaughter, burning, etc.) should really be done to him. This thought is what atones for the person when he brings a sacrifice.
The Ohr Hachaim points out, though, based on the Tanchuma in Shoftim and the Yerushalmi in Shekalim (5:1) that Hashem swore to conduct the world according to justice (as opposed to mercy) and that no one can say that Hashem will overlook his transgressions. Based on these sources, if sacrifices represent a departure from justice and a reliance on mercy, how can a just G-d permit someone deserving of death because of his sins to get "off the hook" by putting an animal in his place?
He answers that in reality, when a sinner brings an animal sacrifice in lieu of his own life, this is also justice. He quotes the Gemara in Sota (3a) that "A person does not commit a sin [unless he is filled with a spirit of impurity]" Reading the Gemara al derech drush, he says that it teaches that a "person" doesn't commit a sin. One who sins descends to the level of an animal, presumably because he allows his animalistic soul (nefesh habahamis) to rule his life during that time. One who does teshuva, however, regains the status of a person.
Therefore, would be fitting for a man be killed because of the sins of an animal? Certainly not. The person therefore brings an animal on the alter because it is the closest approximation of the aspect of himself that committed the sin. So in the end, bringing a korban is proper according to justice as well as mercy.
A couple of months ago, she began announcing "I don't keep Cholov Yisroel," and also asking me for permission to eat non-Cholov Yisroel things. My wife and I tried explaining that it isn't so hard, that virtually everything out there is available in a Cholov Yisroel version, and that it isn't so hard to avoid the one or two things that aren't available in Cholov Yisroel, etc.
She was having none of it. About a month ago, she began asking for Nestle hot chocolate (which is not Cholov Yisroel) because she didn't like the Cholov Yisroel hot chocolate, and anyway, we didn't always have it. Then, she heard that a friend of hers kept Cholov Yisroel only at home. Thinking that this was a genius of an idea and an ideal middle-ground, she began to ask me frequently if she could do that too. Because she kept asking, I finally told her that I would ask Rebbe if it was okay. After all, I didn't know if this chumra was something that we should push relative to other things.
I began working with her to make hot chocolate from scratch in the mornings, and putting her off when she asked me if I asked Rebbe her question yet. I was hoping that the hot chocolate would diffuse her desire and she would drop it, but no such luck. She continued asking every couple of days, "Did you ask Rebbe yet? Can I stop keeping Cholov Yisroel outside the house?"
Finally, this Shabbos at kiddush, I asked Rebbe her question. After the seuda at home afterward, I told her I had just spoken with Rebbe about her question. She asked me what he said, and I told her that he said she should continue keeping Cholov Yisroel everywhere because it would make her healthier, it is good for her, and it's a very important thing.
Her response: "Okay, good." Period. End of sentence. No protests or complaints at all (which would not be entirely out of character for her). After months of asking and pleading, as soon as she heard what Rebbe said, she accepted it happily and we haven't heard anything else about it.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Meshech Chochma writes that this is the meaning of the passuk (Tehillim 100) "הפך לבם לשנא עמו" (He turned their hearts to hate His nation). The goyim hated us and this protected us from assimilation. This was also part of the נס (miracle).