Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Parashas Yisro 5752 - The Nesivos Shalom of Slonim: Listening to Hashem's Voice.

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Seudos drasha from this Shabbos. 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 ravmosheweinberger.com.

Rav Moshe Weinberger
Shalosh Seudos Drasha Parashas Yisro 5752
The Nesivos Shalom of Slonim: Listening to Hashem's Voice

(Original text of the Nesivos Shalom (Parshas Yisro p.140) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

Like we said this morning, we need a הקדמה (introduction) before we can receive the Torah. We can't come to מתן תורה (giving of the Torah) just like that. There are things we need to hear in order to prepare for it.

The passuk (Shmos 19:5) says ״ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקולי וכ׳ו״ (And now, if you will listen to my voice). It doesn't say ״תשמעו אל מצוותי״ (listen to my Mitzvos) like its written in other places, it says "to my voice". This means to incline your hearts to listen to what Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants from you. To listen  in every word to the inner meaning that lies in Hashem's voice, what is His will. This is the essence of a Jew, to listen to the voice of Hashem, and in everything that comes to him to meditate on what Hashem wants form him.

We can keep all the Mitzvos and even be very strict and exact about it. But that is not enough. It's essential to listen to Hashem's voice and to constantly try to find out what is the רצון ה׳ (Hashem's will) in every situation.

We can also say that ״ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקולי וכ׳ו״, refers precisely to "My Voice". Meaning that a Jew should always listen to the voice of Hashem talking to him. As it's written in the Beis Avraham (parshas Vayikra) on the passuk (Vayikra 1:1) ״ויקרא אל משה וידבר ה׳ אליו״ (He called to Moshe and Hashem spoke to him). It's written ״ויקרא״ in a hidden way, it's not clear who is calling. He explains that "ויקרא אל משה" means that every time Moshe heard a calling he knew that "וידבר ה׳ אליו", that it was Hashem talking to him in that particular way.

Someone who is a big Lamdan can work it out and find a way to permit whatever he wants to do. But is that the רצון ה׳? Is that what Hashem wants from us? In any situation we find ourselves we need to ask "is this what Hashem wants me to do right now?".

He brings a story from Reb Moshe Leib Sassover where he was once asked by a wagon driver to pick up for him something he had dropped. When he answered that he couldn't the goy said "you can but you don't want to". He heard through this Hashem talking to him and saying "you can, but you don't want to". It's also told regarding the Holy Baal Shem Tov זי״ע that once he saw a Chilul Shabbos (desecration of the Shabbos). He said that everything that a person sees or hears has some connection to him. So he looked into it and found that once a had heard a degrading comment about a Talmid Chacham (Torah Scholar) and he didn't protest. Since we know that Talmidei Chachamim are compared to Shabbos, he was made to witness a Chilul Shabbos.

Everything a Jew goes through in his life, everything he sees and hears, it's all the voice of Hashem talking to him. This is what Hashem wanted us to her before receiving the Torah ״ועתה אם שמוע תשמעו בקולי וכ׳ו״. That this is one of the first conditions a Jew must fulfill to be a Jew "inside and out", that he must always listen to the voice of Hashem talking to him.

Rav Nosson of Breslev was known for being a Gaon. And he was offered many important Rabinical positions over the years, but he kept on refusing them to stay with his Rebbe Rav Nachman. He was also extremely poor and rejecting this positions put a very big strain on his family situation and Shalom Bais. Once he was offered a very prestigious Rabinical post in a very important city. Pressured by his difficult family situation he went again to Rav Nachman to ask if he should take the post. Rav Nachman thought about it for a while and said "yes, you should take it". Rav Nosson was surprised by an  answer opposite to every previous one, so he asked "Rebbe, is this אמת (true)?". And Rav Nachman said  "yes, it's אמת". Not convinced Rav Nosson asked again "Rebbe, is this really אמת". And Rav Nachman answered "yes". Still not convinced Rav Nosson asked yet again "but Rebbe, is this אמת לאמיתו (completely true). So Rav Nachman thought about it for a while longer and finally said "no, it is not". So Rav Nosson rejected the position and  stayed.

There's a Torah from the Aish Kodesh (Reb Kalonimus Kalmish Shapira of Piacezna) on today's Parsha. Of note he wrote this after spending Shabbos Yisro in hiding. He brings Rashi's question about what was it that Yisro heard that made him come to Moshe? The passuk itself states all the things that he heard. Why does Rashi answer that he heard about the partition of the Yam Suf and the war with Amalek? 

He brings from the Bais Aharon a discussion about the giving of the Torah in the dessert.  He writes regarding the passuk (Dvarim 6:1) "ואהבת את ה׳ אלקיך בכל לבבך" (And you shall love Hashem your G'd with all your heart) that Rashi explains  ״שלא יהיה לבך חלוק על המקום״ (your heart should not be divided against G'd). Rashi uses Hashem's name "מקום" (lit. Place). So the Bais Aharon explains that we should never say "in this place I can serve Hashem, but in this other place it's impossible". Wherever we are, whatever the circumstances might be we must serve Hashem the same. 

If the Torah had been given in Eretz Yisroel, in our own home, we might have thought that we can only keep it in the comfort of our homes. But not while on the way, in exile, fighting for our survival. So Hashem gaves us the Torah in the dessert, while traveling and busy. So that we would know that we can keep the Torah everywhere, that our hearts should not be divided. 

This is the deeper reason why Yisro had to come out to the dessert to learn the Torah, and not just ask Moshe to send him a teacher to his home. 

With this we can understand Rashi's answer. Amalek attacked the Jewish people "along the way", while traveling, to cool down their enthusiasm and inspiration after what they had witnessed in the Yam Suf. Amalek thought that because they were traveling, busy and tired they would be able to destroy them. So Yisro realized that only by receiving the Torah in the dessert, while traveling on the road, he would also be able to be a Jew at home.  

This is the test of "בדרך". When someone is on the road, on a business trip, in a hotel room, and there is no other Jew in 100 miles, to be able to still be a Jew. To serve Hashem there, "בדרך". 

May we always be able to hear the voice of Hashem talking to us. And may we soon hear together "עד ישמע בערי יהודה", and see "קל ששון וקול שמחה...קל מצהלות חתנים מחופתם" with the joining of Kudsha Brich Hu and the Shchina with the גאולה שלימה ואמיתות במהבי״ע.

1 comment:

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Efrayim, great write-up this week. Really amazing. Thank you for doing this! You really remembered that part at the end and you didn't even have Rebbe's notes!