Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger - Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Parashas Vayikra 5752

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shaloshe Seudos Drasha from this Shabbos, Parshas Vayikra. 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 Parashas Vayikra 5752
The Keren L'David: Jewish Survival

(Original text of the Keren L'David (Parshas Hachodesh p.468) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

This is a Torah from the Keren L'David, he was the Rov in Satmer before the current Satmer line started. He comes from the family of the current Pupa Rebbes.

"החודש הזה לכם" (Shemos 12:2). It's written in The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni Shemos 247:170) "Regarding this it's written in the passuk (Vayikra 20:27) "ואבדיל אתחם מן העמים להיות לי וכו׳" (And I will separate you from the nations, to be for me etc.)" This is confusing, what is the connection between this passuk and "החודש הזה לכם"?

We can explain according to what I've said elsewhere regarding the passuk (Bereishis 16:8) "במה אדע כי אירשנה" (how shall I know that they will inherit it?). It was from His Chesed that Hashem exiled our forefathers to Egypt, and decreed upon them servitude. This was the cause they did not assimilate and sunk into the nations. Without this it wouldn't have been possible to survive among the nations without the Torah. So it's written that Avraham Avinu ע״ה was worried. 

Avraham Avinu was worried about the exile. His children would be spread out among goyim. How would they survive? They didn't have the Torah at that time, what could protect them? The memories of the past? Hashem had promised him that his children would inherit the land, but how many would there be left?

It was true that Hashem Yisborach promised him that his children would inherit the land. However until they took possession of it maybe, G'd forbid, the name of Yisroel would be forgotten and it would sink amongst the many nations. This is what he asks when he says "במה אדע כי אירשנה", will he have any heirs? Hashem's answer is "your seed will be strangers in a foreign land", and they will suffer exile in a way that even if they wanted to assimilate with the nations they will not be able to. The nations will be repulsed by the Jews and run away from them with all their might.

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).

We see this in all other exiles as well. The Jewish nation is always despised and lowly in their eyes. Even if we desire to get closer and assimilate ourselves to them we are not able to eliminate their hatred for us. The reason for this is what we explained, because if it wasn't for this it would be possible for us to, G'd forbid, sink amongst them. So this underlies our survival.

Even in places that initially receive us with open arms, eventually it turns around. But while it lasts, those places where we are fully accepted are the most dangerous. Before the war in Germany and Austria assimilation was the worst. R. Dessert explains that, in a way, the Neuremberg Laws came to put a stop to this.

This is what the Baal Haagada said "והיא שעמדה לאבותינו ולנו", This is what stood for our forefathers and for ourselves. Meaning "שלא אחד בלבד עמד עלינו לכלותינו וכו׳", for not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us etc.

The words of our sages comparing Yisroel to the moon and the nations of the world to the sun, are well known. The light of the sun is much stronger then the moon, and in the same way Yisroel in this world is lowly and despised, as explained above.

This is what the Midrash Rabbah is saying in connecting the comparison of Yisroel to the moon to the passuk "החודש הזה לכם". It should have been the opposite, we should have been connected to the sun whose light is much stronger, and not to the moon. The answer is that through this Hakadosh Baruch Hu separated us from the nations, to be His people. By not allowing us to mix with them and learn from their actions. "ולעתיד לבוא יאיר אור הלבנה שבעתיים וכו׳" (In the future the moon will shine seventy time more etc.)  Hashem should be for us a light forever, אמן כן יהי רצון.

It should be the Ribbono Shel Olam's Ratzon that we should get that light back and that it should not be through Yissurim, suffering and troubles, but with Yedidus and Simcha, and we should all together see the ביאת משיח ציד קינאו בב״א.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rav Kook on Man's Aspirations Versus the Depths he Sinks to

Rav Weinberger on Rav Kook in Chadarav: "[Man] wants only greatness and cannot tolerate anything less than that. But because he appears incapable of reaching greatness, rather than accepting a pedestrian existence, he sinks all the way down into the mud."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger - Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Parashas Vayekel-Pekudey 5752

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shaloshe Seudos Drasha from this Shabbos, Parshas Vayakel-Pekudey.  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 Parashas Vayekel-Pekudey 5752
Reb Leibele Eiger - Standing firm in Hashem's Chatzer

(Original text of the Toras Emes (Parshas Pekudey p.130) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

We would need at least an hour to go over this Torah from Reb Leibele Eiger, we'll do the best we can in these few minutes. 

Everywhere regarding the building of the Mishkan and all it's utensils it's written ״כאשר צוה ה׳ את משה״. I heard it asked from the mouth of the Holy Admor M'Ishbitz why is this not said reading the building of the חצר (courtyard)?  We find the answer printed in his Sefer Mey Hashiloach. However, considering the difficulty of this question I'll try to add my own answer.

First we need to understand  why is ״כאשר צוה וכו׳״ written so many times. Wouldn't it have been enough to write it just once at the end, when all the work was completed? We can say, however, that this shows us the greatness of the ענוה  (humility) of Moshe Rabbeinu ע״ה. The basis of  ענוה is the pure Fear of Hashem. Even though he saw the great light that emanated from every single thing related to the building of the Mishkan, he didn't desire to do anything unless it was an express מצוה (commandment), to fulfill a specific order. Even if he was commanded to do one thing, he did not do anything else until it was directly ordered, and the same with everything else until the work of the Mishkan was completed.

Even though Moshe saw all those lights coming from all the different Keilim of the Mishkan, and he was profoundly inspired by them he didn't just run with it. He didn't think that he was "the man", and that he could just follow his inspiration and go on to the next thing. 
We can compare this to a high ranking and beloved minister of a king. The king constantly shows him favor and affection and brings him close to him in all kinds of ways. He gives him permission to go anywhere in his palace, but the minister only goes into one room. Due to his great fear of the majesty of the king, he doesn't go anywhere else unless he is specifically commanded to do so. This is what the Holy Torah is telling us with each particular ״כאשר צוה ה׳ את משה״.

Regarding the חצר, however, it doesn't say " כאשר צוה וכו׳". The  חצר is the outermost area, whomever leaves it, leaves the domain of the בעל הבירה (Master of the palace) completely. In this case it's not appropriate to rely on the Middah of ענוה. On the contrary, we must stand in the חצר no matter what, and desire to be close to the King.

The חצר is something else. As it says (Tehillim 92) "בחצרות אלוקינו יפריחו" (In the courtyards of our G'd they will flourish). Here humility has no place.  We belong there, but we have to choose to be there, we have to desire it.

Regarding this it's written (Pesachim ch. 7) "כל מה שיומר לך בעל הבית עשה, חוץ מצא" (Anything the host commands one must do, except if he orders one to leave). On the contrary he must be strong and stand in the outer חצר no matter what, and show his great desire that the host bring him closer, and not be completely rejected ח״ו. Then the host will see his submission and broken heartedness, and he will have mercy on him and will call him to come inside.

Even if we are told to leave by the  בעל הבית, we don't have to. We can stay there because we belong there. Esther stood in the חצר of the king knowing that that's where she was supposed to be. And she waited there for the King to stretch out his scepter to bring her closer.

All the more so regarding Hakadosh Baruch Hu, who is compassionate and merciful, a person must obviously stand strong and remain, no matter what, in the חצר of His palace, and to desire to be a part of His Kedusha. Then Hashem Yisborach will have mercy on him and will bring him closer. This is the meaning of the passuk (Shemos 40:35) "ולא יכול משה לבוא וגו׳" (And Moshe was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting). Even after all his deeds: he took Yisroel out of Egypt, he brought the quail, brought down the Mann, and completed the construction of the Mishkan. In his great humility and pure fear Moshe did not feel worthy of going into the Tent. He just stood in the חצר desiring the Kedusha. Immediately Hashems mercy fell on him and Moshe was called.

We see this at the very beginning of next Parsha, that starts with the words ״ויקרא אל משה וגו׳״ (and Hashem called unto Moshe).
This is the meaning of the passuk (Tehillim 65:5) "אשרי תבחר ותקרב ישכון חצריך" (Happy is the man whom You choose, and bring near, that he may dwell in Your courtyard). It does not say תשכין (You cause to dwell), in the same tense as it says תבחר (You choose) and תקרב (You bring close), but ישכון (he will dwell) on his own accord. Because  regarding the חצר man has to dwell there out of his own choosing, without being commanded. Even without any הארת פנים (Divine Invitation) a person has to strengthen himself to not  feel completely rejected ח״ו, until through this Hashem Yosborach will have great mercy on him and will bring him closer. Through this he will be (Tehillim 65:5) ״נשבעה בטוב ביתך, קדוש היכלך״  (satisfied with the goodness of Your House, the holy place of Your Temple).

We belong in Hashem's חצר. But we have to wait and try our best to be there. We have to work hard on ourselves learning, keeping Mitzvos, keeping Shabbos, guarding our eyes and our mouths, improving our Middos. The whole world is pulling us in the other direction. Like in the old movies, grabbing us by the neck with a hook and trying to drag us off the stage. And sometimes we can feel a sense of  ייאוש (dispair), feeling that we've fallen so low that we don't belong there. But we must stand strong and wait for Hashem to bring us closer to him. Now is that time of  that חצר before Pesach, "בחצרות אלוקינו יפריחו". Hashem should help us have the strength to stay in his חצר until the  גאולה השלימה והאמיתית בב״א.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Last Day in Eretz Yisroel

We left Eretz Yisroel this morning and are on the way to New York now. Here is a continuation of my observations from our visit to Eretz Yisroel.

On Tuesday, 2/28/12, the fifth day of the trip, we went to the Stalagtite caves, near Beit Shemesh, in the morning. There were amazing formations there and it was very nice for everyone.

The afternoon was one of the real highlights of the trip. We went to an archaeological site in Beit Guvrin, about 40 minutes south of Ramat Beit Shemesh, for a program called "Dig for a Day." We participated in the excavation of a man-made cave carved out of chalk-like stone from the time of the Chashmonaim, about 2,200 years ago. The residents there used the rock from the caves to build their houses and then they used the caves as work spaces for raising pigeons, for mills, etc. There were four families with us and our family was given the particular project of digging out the 11th step in a staircase leading into the particular cave we were excavating, nicknamed "Lumpy." B"H, my wife and all the kids found a number of pieces of pottery, most notably the bases of two bowls and the handles of two pots/jugs, one of which was still intact! Also notably, we uncovered the 11th step of the cave! It was amazing to touch pottery and a step which hadn't been touched for 2,200 years before we touched them!

We then lugged the dirt out of the cave and sifted it for smaller objects that we couldn't find initially. As we left, they allowed us to take as many pottery shards as we wanted from a pile which had been discovered several months ago in the same cave but which could not be reassembled. Mrs. Yid plans to build them into a menorah for Chanukah so we can have a menorah made from pottery made at the time of the Chashmonaim. This is definitely a great family hands-on activity for any trip. Very worthwhile.

Afterward, continuing with the pottery theme, we visited my wife's aunt and uncle in Hod Hasharon. Her uncle is quite an artist with pottery and has his own wheel and large kiln. He patiently sat with each of the kids at the potter's wheel and each one made a mug of their own. After he fires and paints them, my mother in law (his sister) will bring them back to the states with her. It was a great and exhausting day!

The next morning, Wednesday 2/29, the 6th day of the trip, we went to Yerushalayim to catch a bus to Kever Rochel in Beis Lechem, the Jewish neighborhoods of Chevron, and Me'oras Hamachpela with R. Simcha Hochbaum of the Hebron Fund.

In one section of Chevron, Rabbi Hochbaum told a story of how they provided coffee and warm food for the chayalim who guarded the caravans in that particular Jewish neighborhood. In about 2001, an Arab shot at the caravans in Chevron and some of the shots were blocked by the coffee urn for the chayalim outside one of caravans. They said that this gave new meaning to the coffee brand "nes cafe" ("miracle coffee)!

In the restaurant at Meoras Hamachpela, they sold vouchers to give to chayalim for a pizza pie and bottle of soda. We bought one and my oldest daughter gave it to one of the chayalim there. It was a beautiful thing for us to be able to do.

When we got back to Yerushalayim after Chevron I drove my family to the Ir Ganim section of Yerushalayim to visit with my wife's grandmother's sister, Doda Mari, my wife's great aunt. While they got together, I met with a friend from high school who lives in Ramat Eshkol, which was really nice.

Doda Mari and grandmother were born in Merakesh and grew up in Casablanca, Morocco. The whole family had a great time on the visit.

Funny related story I just learned during the trip: When my mother in law and her family first moved to Israel in about 1968/69, right after the 6 Day War, Doda Mari took my mother in law (who was about 12 years old at the time) to the Arab area just outside of the old city of Yerushalayim to buy some spices. She heard Doda Mari talking (in Arabic) to an Arab man and then yelling at him and telling him "yemach shmo" and to go to "Azazel"! She asked Doda Mari what was going on and she told her that the man was trying to convince her to sell my then-12-year-old mother in law to him for thirteen camels! ... Different world!

On Thursday, 3/1, the 7th day of the trip, we visited my wife's grandmother in Petach Tikva and went to the old market in Tel Aviv, the Shuk Hakarmel, which was very interesting. My oldest daughter also bought herself an embossed nusach Sfard siddur so she can daven my Nusach now and always remember her trip to Eretz Yisroel when she davens (the school teaches the davening only in nusach Ashkenaz).

Thursday afternoon we had a special thirteenth birthday dinner at a milchig restaurant in Petach Tikva called Tova'leh for our oldest girl. She was really happy so it was a great night.

On Friday, 3/2, the 8th day of the trip, we traveled up to Tzfas for Shabbos. We arranged to stay in a three bedroom, nine-bed beautifully renovated several hundred year old house outside the old city of Tzfas. Before Shabbos, I went to the mikva at Tzantz and dropped off a gift by our Shabbos day seuda hosts, who live across the street. Friday night I davened mincha in the Chernobyler beis medrash, and Mrs. Yid and Yid Jr., and I davened kabbalas Shabbos and maariv in a shul almost next door called "Hamekarev," which was quite an experience. Very leibadig. We had the Shabbos seuda afterward in the house we rented for Shabbos and then I went for a walk with my oldest daughter in the old city, which was cold but quite nice!

Shabbos morning I again went to the mikva and also davened Shacharis in Tzantz. Afterward, the whole family ate by a Breslov family who made aliya in around 1981, which was very nice.
After Shabbos, we went to stay at my wife's uncle's parents' (A"H) apartment in Chatzor Haglilit, about 15 minutes from Tzfas.

On Sunday, 3/4/12, the 10th day of the trip, we had a tour guide take us around Tzfas, Meron, and the area. We were able to see and daven by Rabi Shimon bar Yochai, Reb Elazar b'Reb Shimon, the Arizal, Rav Yosef Karo, the Ostrovitcher (the Bas Ayin), Rav Alkavetz (the author of Lecha Dodi), and Rav Moshe Kordovero (the Ramak), among others. Afterward, we slept again in Chatzor Haglilit.

Monday morning, 3/5/12, the 11th day of our journey, we headed back down to central Israel and stopped by Gan Garoo, a zoo of Australian animals, about an hour south of Tzfas, near kibbutz Nir David. The kids loved feeding and petting the kangaroos. They also had an amazing "tziporia," aviary, where we brought in apple slices on a stick and these amazingly colorful parrots landed on us and ate from our hands/the sticks. It was a hit!

Afterward, we returned to Petach Tikva for a visit with my wife's grandmother before heading back to Ramat Beit Shemesh.

A quick word about the mikva'os in Israel, versus America. While certain things are more advanced in America than in Israel, the mikva'os are not one of them. The majority of the mikva'os I went to in Israel were guarded by a revolving metal door controlled by a flat screen computer that gives people several ways to pay the mikva entrance fee. In America, I am used to a simple box on the wall for payment, but in Israel, you can pay with a key chain scan, cash or coins, or with a biometric thumb-print scan! Crazy!

On Tuesday, 3/6, the 12th day of the trip, we headed down south of Jerusalem to Eretz Bereishit, which was also a big hit. A yid (whose real name is Ro'i) dressed up as Eliezer eved Avraham and told the story of Avraham's travels. We all dressed in biblical style robes and rode on camels to a tent area. There, we heard more from "Eliezer," made dough with flour, water, and oil, and baked pitas over a metal oven. We then had tea or Turkish coffee and rode on the camels back to the main building.

After that, we continued south to Ein Gedi where the kids had a blast swimming/playing in the water at the bottom of the lower waterfall (fully clothed of course). We then enjoyed the view of the Dead Sea on the way down to Masada, which we saw a decent amount of.

On Wednesday, 3/7/12, the 13th day of the trip, Taanis Esther, we had a slow day in Netanya, visiting my wife's aunt and uncle and playing in the sand at the beach there.

Purim night I went to hear the Megillah at yeshiva Lev Hatorah, a Daati Leumi style American yeshiva with a lot of YU educated rebbeim. I was hoping to see my old group leader from my NCSY trip to Israel after my junior year of high school in '93, who's a shana bet rebbe there. I also wanted to see a guy I knew from YU and a co-counselor from HASC summer '94 who are both rebbeim there. B"H, I saw all of them at least briefly.

We also all dressed up as pirates in costumes my wife put together expertly and I took them to the "Aish Kodesh" shul (lead by R. Shapira, the great-nephew of the Piaczezna rebbe) for the later megillah reading, which was nice.

Purim day I heard the Megillah reading at Aish Kodesh and went back to shul for the later reading with my pirate family, except for my nine-year-old daughter, who had her own idea for a costume. She wore a black skirt and white button-down shirt, and she put up all of her hair except her "peyos" under her white knit, pom-pomed "Na Nach" kipa. As a girl dressed up as a "Na Nacher," she was a big hit!

We had the Purim seuda by my wife's friend in Ramat Beit Shemesh, which was very nice. They also had another couple over where the wife was also an old friend of my wife's, so a good time was had by all. The host also expressed a strict hashgacha klalis viewpoint so we had a nice wine-enhanced debate!

On Friday, 3/9/12, the 15th day of the trip, we went to Yerushalayim, where we stayed at the Eldan hotel. We davened at the kotel Friday night and walked to a shul in Nachla'ot called Mayanot for the seuda, which is a place with a very eclectic crowd. It was nice there though because we ran into R. Simcha Hochbaum who was spending time in Yerushalayim instead of Chevron for Shabbos to see his son who's about to start the army. We also ran into a tzadik of a guy from Far Rockaway there that we know through our daughter's school, BBY.

Shabbos morning we davened at the kosel again. Some of the people I saw in Yerushalayim/by the kosel included Chaim Dovid, Rabbi Machlis, Avraham Fried, Jeff Seidel, Yehoshua Kotler (who I knew from Far Rockaway), and Eli Deutsch.

The thing that made Shabbos in the old city hard was all the tumah everywhere. There were so many tzelems and Aravim servicing the tourists on the way between the shaar Yafo and the kosel, even on Shabbos, and seeing the entire Har Habayis with a Mosque on it was just such bizyonos to that holy place. Those things and the whole tourist balagan made it difficult to concentrate there. It was similarly difficult at Kever Rochel, where you go there surrounded by 20 foot high concrete walls on all sides now. The last time I was there (probably in '93 or '95) I went in through the normal main street and saw the old traditional building and entrance there. It was very hard to see the whole place surrounded like a fortress to protect our right to pray in our own holy site in our own country like that, which made it feel like we are strangers in our own land. It was also like that in Meoras Hamachpela, where we do not even have the right to pray by the tziyunim of several of our Avos and Imahos most of the year, which are in the hands of strangers, nebach.

We returned from Yerushalayim after Shabbos, knowing that our visit was almost over.
On Sunday, 3/11/12, day 17 of the trip, we visited my wife's grandmother in Petach Tikva in the morning and early afternoon. My wife did some shopping there with my mother in law.
In the afternoon, we visited my wife's cousin and her family with whom we spent our first Shabbos in Israel in Bnei Brak. As I said before, the kids loved their kids and my wife loves her cousin. We had a long goodbye and about 4 million pictures were taken on about 4 cameras, mostly by the kids. We will really miss them.

We also said goodbye to Malka's family in Petach Tikva and headed back late to RBS to work out the utilities with our two-week landlady and finish packing.

We sadly headed out early this morning (3/12/13 - day 18) to the airport for our flight and by the time this posts, we'll probably close to landing at around 5:45 this afternoon NY time.

On the shuttle to the airport after returning the rental car, I met this somewhat elderly couple. They are modern orthodox and the husband wore a yarmulke but the wife didn't cover her hair and wore pants. They were so inspiring though. The wife said that they spend 2 months every winter traveling around Israel. She said, "I do it because I want my money to go to the Land. If I could, I would give my body itself to the land." Wow!

The kids, especially the girls, and my wife had an amazing time, and we will all really miss Eretz Yisroel. The girls are ready to move here, though our touristy visit doesn't give them a real taste of what life is like. Our oldest especially picked up quite a lot of Hebrew and really leaned to communicate well with her Hebrew-speaking cousins.

Honestly I have never seen our oldest as happy as she has been during this trip. It has really been amazing. Tomorrow morning things will go back to "normal," but IY"H we will remember our connection to Eretz Yisroel and will strengthen that connection with time and will not wait another 15 years or so to return!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Purim, Amalek, and the Spiritual Power of Procrastination

Baruch Hashem, R' Boruch Leff, a mechanech in Baltimore and writer for Yated,, and other publications has given me permission to post a series of pieces which quote my rebbe, Rav Moshe Weinberger, from his book Are You Growing?, which is available on Aish's website at a 40% discount here.
Amaleik is not merely the nation who attacked us first-they are the spiritual thorn in our side, always trying to bring us down and away from Hashem. As weprepare for next week’s Parshas Zachor we must remember what Amaleik wanted and continues to want to do to us and we must work hard to defend ourselves fromtheir plans.
The pasuk in Parshas Balak describes Amaleikas ‘Reishis Goyim Amaleik’and the acronym, roshei tayvos, ofthese words spell rega, which means amoment. Amaleik wants us to becomedistracted, forgetting about Adar and eternity, and exchange eternity for thenow, for the pleasure of the rega,the moment. But Rav Moshe Weinberger explains that the way to combat the desireof Amaleik is to realize that all that’s needed is a fight and a struggle for just a brief moment. The passion of the desire for sin, the height of the strength and difficulty usually lasts but for a minute. If we can find the inner power to resist for that minute and walkaway, we will usually find that the battle is much easier after that minute has passed.
Dieting works this way as well. You see the chocolate cake and your body immediately sends aquick message to your brain, “I want that cake—all of it! I need that cake!” Ifwe listen to this urge and stop rational thought we will cave in. But if stopfor a rega, if we walk away for aminute, we usually can withstand the desire a minute later when the height ofthe desire has left.
Rav Eliyahu Dessler says that this is the way to fight the yetzer hara. Don’t fight it head on, just delay it, tell the yetzer hara that you’ll revisit the decision soon, just not right  now. If we do this, the rega, the ‘Reishis Goyim Amaleik’ends and we are better equipped to resist.
Shabbos is the day in which we have many regaim,many moments with which to remove ourselves from the rat race of life. We have time to think, time to recharge our spiritual batteries and connect to Hashem.The Ramchal in Mesilas Yesharim writes that the yetzer hara wants to keep us busy constantly, never having time totruly think about what’s important in life. We counter this problem but letting ourselves have a rega, a serenemoment in time when we can get our priorities straight and combat the push of Amaleik to live only for the rega. Instead, we make choices based upon eternity, not merely for the rega.
For these reasons, we must treasure the serenity and break from the hustle and bustle of life which Shabbos offers. Theword rega actually is derived fromthe word ragua, which means to berelaxed and calm. We are supposed to utilize every moment of life in this manner—bybeing relaxed and calm. Only in this manner will we make good choices.
Let us try to feel ragua appreciating themeaning that it offers, so that we can build the strength to fight the rushed rega attitude of Amaleik with a proper‘take a step back and think’ Torah and regaapproach.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger - Shalosh Seudos Drasha - Parashas Tetzaveh 5752

Below is a write-up of Rav Weinberger's Shalosh Seudos drasha from this Shabbos, Parshas Tetzaveh.  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 Parashas Tetzaveh 5752
The Shevet M'Yehuda: preparing for celebrating with holiness

(Original text of the Shevet M'Yehudah (Parshas Tetzaveh p.140) is in regular font. Rav Weinberger’s comments are in italics)

This is Torah from the Shevet M'Yehuda, the Rebbe Reb Avromeleh Eiger, the son of Reb Leibele Eiger.

״וגם חרבונה זכור לטוב״ ("and also Charbonah will be remebered for good" from a Piyut sung on Purim). We need to understand the meaning of this. If it goes according to the opinion in חז״ל (Esther Rabbah 10:9) that Charbonah is Eliyahu Hanavi, why do we need to say that he is remembered for good? He is always remembered for good  (זכור לטוב)!  If it goes according to the opinion in the gemarah (Megilah 16a) that Charbonah was also a Rasha, why is he remembered for good?

[He now discusses what חז״ל brings down in the Tikuney Zohar and other places about the deep connection between Purim and Yom Kippur (יום כפורים: a day "like Purim").]

We must explain this according to what we've said before, about Purim being connected as one to Yom Hakippurim. We know from the writings of my Holy father (Reb Leibele Eiger) that this is due to Yom Hakippurim being the day that we received the Second Luchos, while on Purim we accepted the Torah again out of love due to the miracle (Shabbos 88a, see Rashi there). On both of them, the original receiving of the Torah on Shavuos is re-awakened.  It's known from חז״ל (Pesachim 68b) that everyone agrees that both on Shavuos and on Purim it's a Mitzvah to celebrate with a feast.

The Torah was received in different ways on three separate dates. On Shavuos we received the First Luchos, on Yom Kippur we received the Second Luchos, and there was a renewed acceptance of the Torah on Purim ״והדר קבלוה בימי אחשורוש״.

We know from the Sefer Toras Emes (Yisro) the reason Hashem chose to give the Torah in a place named חורב.

חריבות is an emptying of the Neshama of anything extraneous, leaving it empty and desolate to be able to receive the Torah. That's why the Troah had to be given in the wilderness. The Torah can only truly resonate within the minds and hearts of the "נפשות חריבות" of this world. Those who empty themselves of any attachment to physicality, the "Desolate Souls".

One's soul needs to be dry and empty from the "moisture" of physical pleasures. It should also be חרוב (empty and desolate) in ones own eyes. This is so even on the day of the giving of the Torah, where we are required to feast with food and wine.

In this sense the First Luchos did not have a complete permanence. As it says (Shemos 32:6) ״וישב העם לאכול ושתו וכו׳״ (and the people sat down to eat and drink). The Tikkun for this is on Yom Hakippurim where there is no eating or drinking, and all Yisroel are empty and dry of all physical pleasures, and their hearts are broken from their Teshuva during the עשרת ימי תשובה. Then a new set of Luchos was given that endures forever.

On Yom Kippur by fasting and refraining from other physical pleasures we rectify the חטא העגל that involved the indulgence in our Taavos.

However it was His Holy Will that the Jewish soul should also be a place of Torah when it's filled with goodness, in eating and drinking that is done in קדושה and טהרה with firmness and strength. This was accomplished with the miracle of Purim, when from the אהבה for this miracle they accepted the Torah again in the days of Achashverosh. Thus we can understand that the Mitzvos of the day are performed through feasting and joy, by increasing our eating and drinking that is one with the חריבות of our souls on Yom Hakippurim. From the power of this  חריבות הנפש on Yom Hakippurim we merit receiving the Second Luchos just as we did the First ones in חורב. The symbol of the place of Torah in the נפש חריבה, as it's stated in his holy writings.

Yom Kippur is the time of emptying ourselves out of all physical desires so that we can prepare to be able, on Purim, to use our eating and drinking in the service of Hashem, instead of giving into our physical Taavos.  

Even regarding the holiday of Atzeres regarding the issue we are required to feast ״בעינן נמי לכם״, on Purim when the accepted again the Torah out of אהבת הנס, the letters of חרב turned around and became רחב (expansion, abundance) as its written in Toras Emes. Thus we engage in eating and drinking with greater abundance then at any other time in the year. However the main thing at the time of התרחבות (abundance) and expansion of our eating and drinking, is not to forget but to remember "for good" the true goals and intentions of physical life. To connect as one to the חריבות and dryness from the physical pleasures, and the חריבות of oneself, that is the holiness of Yom Hakippurim. Only through this we merit the Second Luchos just like we did the First ones in the place called חרב.

In order for Purim to be Purim, we require the preparation of Yom Kippur. Otherwise our celebrating in eating and drinking, instead of becoming a form of Avodas Hashem, will turn into just Taavos and drunkenness.

This is the ending of the Piyut that was designated for the simcha of Purim ״וגם חרבונה זכור לטוב״. That is the word חרבונה includes in it the חריבות and the התרחבות together to be remembered for good. This is the main thing, that both be well joined together as one. Then it will all be for good, with a complete goodness, Amen.