Friday, October 30, 2015

This Saturday night. Melava Malka and siyum with Rav Eliyahu Succot in Queens NY

There will be a Melava Malka and siyum this week with R' Eliyahu Succot (and his guitar) at the home of
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Navon
(147-11 77th Road, KGH)
at 9:00 PM

Parshas Vayera by Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a

Parshas Vayera transcribed and translated from previous shiurim of the Tzadik Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a

"In the heat of the day" (18:1)

   On that day, that Avraham Avinu went out to look for guests, Hashem took the sun out of its sheath, it was so hot that no one was able to leave their home. It was the fire of Gehinom! No one went outside. The only person who went out was Avraham Avinu. It was virtual suicide. He was the only one who ran out and looked for guests that day. The Torah is telling us about Avraham Avinu's performance of the mitzvah of welcoming guests for a specific reason. After all, what actually happened here? Avraham Avinu just gave them some bread and water? What's so special about that? Hospitality exists everywhere in the world. Any house in the desert welcomes guests. But Avraham Avinu is another matter altogether. By him, it was a matter of mesirus nefesh! It is not for nothing that the Torah relates that it was the third day after Avraham's bris milah. Not only was he  feeling weak, but Hashem had even taken the sun out of its sheath. The Torah is telling us that Avraham Avinu preformed the mitzvah of hospitality with mesirus nefesh, under the most difficult possible conditions.
   Rabbeinu said, "Love of Hashem needs to drive a person to do crazy things in order to perform His mitzvos and do His will. One must be willing to get covered in mud and muck in order to serve Hashem and do His mitzvos" (Likutei Moharan 2:5). The Rebbe is teaching us that we need to have mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah, even if it means rolling around in mud and filth. We are required to fulfill each and every mitzvah with mesirus nefesh—for every crown of the letter yud. For each thing that is the will of Hashem Yisborach a person needs to sacrifice his soul. One is forbidden to pass up any mitzvah, unless someone is literally standing there threatening you with a gun to your head. The Rebbe himself laid down in the muck and mire for every mitzvah.
   When Yosef HaTzaddik went to look for his brothers, he did so with mesirus nefesh. "My brothers do I seek" (37:16). He knew that they intended to kill him. He knew that he had nothing to protect him. He knew that they were going to throw him into the pit—he knew everything! Nothing was hidden from him. He said: "I need to have mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah." During the time when the Greeks ruled over the land of Israel, the Jews had mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah, even the rabbinically ordained mitzvos! They gave their son's a bris, waved lulavim, and kept Shabbas even though, because of the circumstances, they were actually exempt! They had mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah. In parshas Vayishlach, the Midrash HaGadol addresses the pasuk, "the generation of those who seek Him, those who strive for Your presence [the nation of] Yaakov, Selah" (Tehillim 24:6) and asks: Who counts as "the generation of those who seek Him"? Who is seeking Hashem? Who wants Hashem? Who is willing to have mesirus nefesh for Hashem? Are we this generation that seeks Him? All we do is spend our whole day eating and drinking, hardly even taking a break! We don't stop eating and drinking for a minute. Can this be described as "seeking Him"? Rather, the Midrash HaGadol says, only people who have mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah are called, "the generation of those who seek Him, those who strive for Your presence [the nation of] Yaakov, Selah."
   Tzaddikim cried over each and every mitzvah. How many tears did the Kloisenberger Rebbe shed over every mitzvah? He cried so much that he shouldn't fail to keep any mitzvah, even while he was in the death camps! He literally shed rivers of tears that he shouldn't have to desecrate Shabbas or eat treif food. There is a story about him that one day he arrived back at the camp and it was almost empty. From 6,000 people, there remained only 2,000. Just as he arrived at the camp, the announcement was made that they would be distributing food. He didn't take any of the food. Instead, he immediately went into a shack at the edge of the camp and started shedding rivers of tears. He burst out in a bitter cry and said, "I don't want to be defiled by their food!" Suddenly, someone called him and said, "There is someone calling you to come outside." He went out and saw an elderly Jew standing there holding out to him a loaf of bread and a saucer of jam, and he said to him, "Here, you can eat from this." The Kloisenberger Rebbe said, "I immediately realized it was a miracle. It was then that I understood that Hashem was watching over me, that Hashem was with me." Also by Rabbeinu HaKadosh, everything only came to him after tremendous effort and suffering.
   Every person needs to have mesirus nefesh, to struggle and to overcome the obstacles. If your Torah study wasn't successful, don't just say "that's it," and walk away. "I'll go and drink a cup of tea, or go take a nap." Quite the contrary, if your chevrusa didn't show up, then go to his house and drag him out! If a person doesn't have mesirus nefesh to go and learn Torah, then this is not Chassidus! It's not Breslov! It is nothing other than laziness! Are you greater than the Rebbe? You think you should have it easier than he did? There is no such thing as someone having an easy life! If it's easy, then it's from the Sitra Achra. Therefore, everyone needs to have mesirus nefesh for each and every mitzvah, and in fact, for everything in holiness.

"But where is the lamb for the offering?" (22:7)
   The moment Avraham took Yitzhak to do the Akeida, the Satan didn't know what to do. How could he cancel this Akeida? Yitzhak went happily to the Akeida, l'shem shemayim. The Satan knew that the moment Yitzhak was placed on the altar, he (the Satan) would surrender control for all the generations. So he tried all kinds of tricks to prevent the Akeida. He changed himself into a river, etc., as is explained in the Midrash. But he was totally unsuccessful. So the Satan said to Yitzhak, "I heard from behind the Curtain that the lamb is destined to be the sacrifice, not You. It's only a big show that you appear to be going to let yourself be slaughtered. They may be taking you to the Akeida, but it won't happen in the end. I'm telling you: there will be no Akeida! Rather, a lamb will be the offering." And then Yitzhak screamed, "Father, what are we doing? Where is the lamb for the offering? Am I being offered to Hashem? Will I be a complete offering for Hashem, or will I only be the shelamim? How will you sacrifice me?" Yitzhak was afraid all the time that Avraham would find some lamb on the way and he would sacrifice the lamb as an elevation offering, and he would be the shelamim—a lesser offering. Because if they were already going to sacrificing him, he wanted to be the holiest offering. Then Avraham Avinu said to him, "Hashem will seek out for himself the lamb for the offering, my son." [The Midrash teaches that Yitzhak understood from this reply that he himself would be the sacrificial lamb.] Forget about the Satan. Don't pay attention to anything that he told you. We are going to the Akeida for a sanctification of His name—literally! Go with simple and straightforward thoughts, that you are truly going to be the Akeida. You have nothing to worry about. You will always be the holiest of the sacrifices, the elevation offering to Hashem. You are completely G-dly.
   So that is why when a person starts the prayer service, he must say the portion of the Akeida. It is forbidden to ever skip the section of the Akeida. As it says in Seder HaYom, whoever merits saying the parsha of the Akeida, merits being saved from all suffering on that day. Because through the Akeidas Yitzhak, all the judgments are sweetened until the end of all the generations. One must read the Akeida every day! Since there are new judgments every day, we need to sweeten them afresh every day. And this can only be done through reading out loud the portion of the Akeida. A person absolutely must say the Akeida without skipping it—ever!  For whoever says the Akeida, it is promised that he will not suffer any damage on that day, and he will merit sweetening all the harsh judgments.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The weekly prayer rally for the success of Rabbi Berland at the kotel

Another miracle story about Rabbi Berland that we just recieved

Written by a student of Rabbi Berland

Amazing story. Someone I'm close with has major heart problems. This person had an angiogram with stents put in and major blockages. At the last appointment the Doctor was very, very, concerned and since his appointment was today the wife of this fellow, asked me to speak with Rav Berland. I got a blessing for him that it should go well. When I spoke with the Rav he said to me, tell him not to worry at all I will be with him!! We didn't know what that meant and since this guy is not a student of the Rav and doesn’t know of the Rav besides for hearing the lies that are spread about him, so he didn't think much of it. When the day of the procedure arrived, they opened him up and found that recently the blockages completely reversed themselves and the Doctor was in complete shock and said it was a major miracle. This is completely unheard of as the problem was getting worse and usually more stents have to be put in or other procedures have to take place. The wife said to me that it was no doubt the bracha of the tzaddik because every other time they went it was just getting worse. And it’s no coincidence that this time when they asked for a bracha and the Rav said not to worry everything got turned around!! They saw a complete and open miracle!!!! Even the Doctor said this is not the normal way for such blockages to clear up and especially in his condition!! Baruch Hashem that we have a tzaddik in the world!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Glowing Face - Parshas Lech Lecha by Rabbi Eliezer Berland Shlit"a

Parshas Hashavuah Lech Lecha transcribed and translated from previous shiurim of the Tzadik Rabbi Eliezer Berland Shlit"a

"When the officials of Pharaoh saw her…" (12:15)

   "'But it occurred with Avraham's coming to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful' (12:14). Rebbe Yehuda said that they had hidden her a casket and the Egyptians opened it in order to check if it contained anything that needed to be taxed. When they opened it, they saw a light shining like the light of the sun. And this is what it means when it says that they saw that she was very beautiful? Why is the word "very" used? It was because they saw that there was nothing in the casket. They took her out and saw that the light was shining from her. And this is the explanation of, "The Egyptians saw her." It is written "the Egyptians saw the woman"—what does it mean that the officials of Pharaoh saw her? That they took her out and saw that the light was shining from her. And then they praised her to Pharaoh, etc." (Zohar, Parshas Lech Lecha, 82)
   The Zohar asks: It is written in verse 14, "The Egyptians saw the woman" and in verse 15 it says again, "The officers of Pharaoh saw her." Why does it say that she was seen twice? Why is the description drawn out? They saw and then they saw her again. Rather, the Zohar says an awesome thing: when Avraham Avinu arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians said to him: Open up the casket! We want to see what you really have in there. We want to see what you are hiding. And when they opened the casket up a great light shone out—a light like the sun at noon. Midnight was turned into noon. Hashem took the sun out of its sheath. "When it was opened the light was like the light of the sun." Sara Imeinu was shining like the sun and suddenly all of Egypt was shining from the light of Sara. All of Egypt was filled with light. The Egyptians thought that Avraham had some kind of invention inside the casket—some kind of electrical device or magic, some sort of concealed rays, some kind of diamond that emitted light. They didn't want to believe that Sara was the source of this light. They said: Can a person radiate such light? They didn't believe that a person could emit such light. They thought that there was something else causing the light that came from the casket. It couldn't be that it came from Sara. Maybe there was some kind of hidden device that emitted those rays. So they decided to check the casket. They pulled Sara out and started checking with all kinds of instruments to determine the source of the light—where was the hidden source of the light that lit up all of Egypt? "Since it is written that the Egyptians saw the woman. What does it mean "and the ministers of Pharaoh  saw the woman?" They saw that the light didn't come from the casket but from Sara. This is why it is written "and they saw" twice. They were moving Sara in and out of the casket again and again and checking the casket to determine from where the light was emanating. Maybe there is some kind of diamond here? Some king of glowing source of light? And only after they checked the casket several times did they realize that this great light was coming from Sara herself. Sara merited completely shedding her impure body. She was shining like the sun! This is just as the Baal HaTurim says in Parshas Chaye Sara on the verse, "and Sara lived one hundred years…(chaye Sara Meah Shana). The rashei teivos spell the word shemesh (sun). Sara was literally a sun. If a person wants to shed his physical body and to extricated himself from his bad character traits—to change his leprous body to a holy one from Gan Eden and to merit shining like the sun—he can only accomplish this through learning Torah.
   The Rebbe says in Torah 101: a person is steeped in 70 bad character traits and only through learning Torah and Gemara can he break away from all of the bad character traits. This is what is really called "accepting upon himself the yolk of the Torah," because only the Torah can change the nature of a person's body. The body is the aspect of, "Let one who is [like] a wild ass be reborn as a man" (Iyov 11:12). The body is full of jealousy, hatred, the evil eye, forbidden gazing, and forbidden thoughts, and only by learning Gemara and learning Torah in depth can he change this. Only when he merits to Anpin Nehirin—Penim Meirot are all of his bad character traits and desires uprooted. A person is always battling his desires and bad character traits, and he doesn't realize that it is only though learning Torah that he can be freed from them.
   The Rebbe said that there is Anpin Nehirin (glowing face) and there is Anpin Hashuchin (darkened face). A person who doesn't learn Gemara has a Anpin Hashuchin! An Anpin Nehirin can be achieved only by learning Gemara. There is an entire lesson about this in Likutei Moharan—Torah 101. There it is written that a person cannot achieve Anpin Nehirin—the glowing face—other than by learning Torah b'iyun. Does a person think he is smarter than Rebbe Nachman? Smarter than the Torah? Smarter than HaKadosh Baruch Hu? Hashem said: "A man's wisdom lights up his face" (Koheles 8:1). Only wisdom lights up the face. A person needs to go around with enlightened eyes and a glowing face, but this only comes from learning Gemara! The Rebbe said: A man's wisdom lights up his face. Where is your light? Why do you think about money all the time? Why are you thinking about nonsense all day long?
   The essence of Rebbe Nachman is wisdom and intelligence—this is the basis of the Rebbe! This will remain the essential foundation for all generations. When Moshiach comes, this will also be the basic foundation—it will never change. A person must achieve wisdom and intelligence. That his whole existance will be wisdom and intelligence. All the 248 limbs and 365 sinews will be only wisdom and intelligence. By learning Gemara a person merits to wisdom and intelligence, and the intelligence is a shining sun. When a person has intelligence, everything shines and is clear. A person wonders around all day long without any vitality or joy: "Life is so bitter. I don't have strength for anything. I don't want to do anything." You have no energy? You have no desire to do anything? This is because you aren't learning Gemara! You look for things to keep you occupied—it's only because you don't learn. Vitality comes only from wisdom and intelligence, as it is written, "Wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors" (Koheles 7:12).
   All of a person's work is to increase his intellect, and as much as he increases his intellect and learns Shas, so does he build the Beis HaMikdash. If we want to build the Beis HaMikdash, to speed up the geulah, we need to develop the intellect and understanding, as Chazal said, "Whoever has intelligence it is if the Beis HaMikdash was built in his days." And as much as a person develops his intellect, so he builds the Beis HaMikdash. The only reason the Beis HaMikdash has not been built is because there is not enough learning of Shas b'iyun—in depth. Today the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash depends completely on learning Shas. The moment that a person learns Shas, the Sitra Achra will fall. A person needs to sharpen his mind. This is the whole work of a person: to sharpen his mind, to learn Torah, so that he will have a quick and nimble mind. A razor sharp mind, as Rabbeinu says: it's a great mitzvah to sharpen the mind.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

spread the word - QUEENS, NY THIS WEEK! Special Melava Malka with R' Eliyahu Succot

There will be a special Melava Malka this week
with R' Eliyahu Succot
(and his guitar)
at the home of Malkiel Yakubov
(144-24 Melbourne Ave, KGH)
at 8:30 PM

Rabbi Elyah Succot, a talmid of Rav Eliezer Berland shlit"a for the past 46 years, and formerly of R' Shlomo Carlebach ztz'l, is renowned artist and singer, was born and brought up in NJ, USA. Made aliyah in 1969 and is living in Jerusalem, Israel ever since. Rabbi Succot divides his time between learning in a kollel and painting.

"My paintings are prayers, they also express the inner desire of my soul and describe the journey and aspiration of the Jewish People" — R' Elyah Succot

"Floating city" over China or Beis Hamikdash (Third Temple) falling from heaven? Judge for yourselves!

Third temple in China sky

On the first day of the Jewish month of Chesvan (October 14th) a

few people were at the home of the great Rabbi Eliezer Berland

and he told them that this is the month that the Beis Mikdash Hashlishi (Third Temple)

begins to descend from heavens, you must pray that you will

merit seeing it.

A few days later it was publicized across the media including the

UK Telegraph, The National Geographic and others a strange

phenomenon in which thousands of people on China witnessed

what they described as a "floating city" decending from heaven.

See and hear for yourselves...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kever Yosef in Shechem this morning

kever yosef - photo:archive
kever yosef - photo:archive

This morning (tuesday) a group of talimidim of the Tzadik Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a went to the tzion of Yosef Hatzadik in Shechem. They managed getting in without any problems either from the Israeli army or from the Palestinian police. They said a few times tikun haklali for the success of HaRav Eliezer ben Etya and for the success of all of Israel.

It should be noted that there is a media campaign trying to portray these actions as illegal or dangerous. However the court in Petach Tikvah on Sunday has judged as they have in the past that part of the Oslo Agreements clearly state that Kever Yosef though it stands in what's known as Palestinian area A, Israeli's must be allowed access to the kever.

The Government has tried many times to override this ammendment by blocking off access to the kever claiming "security concerns" but each time the chasidim managed to bypass the baracade and get in whether by foot or by car, which then in turn forced the government to allow official access, which as of now will continue every erev rosh chodesh, and special days as publicized by the Kever Yosef Foundation.

Let's not forget - the tzaddikim and holy sites are what protect the land of Israel, not the government or the army. Without the bones of Yosef we wouldn't have been able to cross the sea and enter the land, and without his bones we would not be able to remain here. Our enemies realize this so they try to destroy these sites. When will the Jew begin to realize?...

(note: The destruction is usually caused by teenage gangsters who do not represent the general Muslim/Arab people which greatly respect Jewish holy sites and would not harm Jewish access or those coming to pray. Rabbi Berland and his students have throughout the years lived in peace with their Arab neighbors click here to see an example of the Rabbi speaking at a peace rally)

see this interesting video documentary of Kever Yosef from 2009

share your thoughts in comments below

Monday, October 19, 2015

Please share this special prayer for the protection of Am Yisrael

תְּפִלָּה לְהַצָּלַת עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד מְבַקְשֵׁי נַפְשׁוֹ

רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן מָלֵּא רַחֲמִים, לִבֵּנוּ נִשְׁפַּךְ כַּמַּיִם עַל דָּם יִשְׂרָאֵל הַנִּגָּר כַּמַּיִם. נַצְחָן עַל כָּל הַנַצְחָנִים, גִּבּוֹר עַל כָּל הַגִּבּוֹרִים, תַּקִיף עַל כָּל הַתַּקִּיפִים. רְאֵה נָא בְּעָנְיֵנוּ וְרִיבָה רִיבֵנוּ וּרְאֵה, כִּי הָיִינוּ לִמְשִׁיסָה וּלְלַעַג בְּעֵינֵי כָּל הָעַמִּים, וְהִפְקִירוּ אוֹתָנוּ לְהֶרֶג וּשְׂרֵפָה רֶצַח וּסְקִילָה. וּבְכָל יוֹם וְיוֹם אוּמוֹת הָעוֹלָם מְּשַׁסִים בָּנוּ אֶת זְאֵבֵי הַטֶּרֶף הַצְּמֵאִים לְדָם, וְדָנִים הֵם אוֹתָנוּ לְהֶרֶג וּשְׂרֵפָה חֶנֶק וּסְקִילָה, וְכָל יוֹם קִלְלָתוֹ מְרֻבֶּה מִשֶּׁל חֲבֵרוֹ.
וְזֶה כְּבַר קָרוֹב לְאַלְפַּיִם שָׁנָה שֶׁאָנוּ הוֹלְכִים מִגּוֹלָה אֶל גוֹלָה, לְשֶׁבִי בְּרָעָב וּבְחֶרְפָּה. וּבִימוֹת הַאִנְקְוִיזִיצְיָה הֶעֱלוּ אוֹתָנוּ עַל הַמּוֹקֵד, וּבִימֵי הַשּׁוֹאָה הִכְנִיסוּ אוֹתָנוּ לְתַנּוּרֵי אֵשׁ. וְעַדַיִּין אוּמוֹת הָעוֹלָם לֹא שָׂבְעוּ מִבְּשָׂרֵנוּ וּמִדָמֵּנוּ, וְהֵם עֲדַיִן מְשַׁחֲרִים לְדָם יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמַכְרִיזִים עָלֵינוּ מִלְחֲמוֹת חָרְמָה וְאָבְדָּן, בְּדוֹמֶה לְמַסָּעוֹת הַדָּמִים שֶׁהָיוּ בִּתְקוּפַת רַשִׁ״י וְרַבֵּנוּ תָּם וּבַעֲלֵי הַתּוֹסְפוֹת. וְדַם יִשְׂרָאֵל נִגַּר בָּרְחוֹבוֹת יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה, בְּכָל שָׁעוֹת הַיּוֹם, וּמִכָּל פִּנָּה וּפִנָּה שׁוֹמְעִים אָנוּ זַעֲקוֹת הָאַלְמָנוֹת וְהַיְתוֹמִים וְהוֹרִים שַׁכּוּלִים, וְכִמְעַט מִשְׁפָּחוֹת שְׁלֵמוֹת נִכְחָדוֹת מִדֵּי שָׁבוּעַ בְּשָׁבוּעַ.
עָלָה הַמָּוֶת בַּחַלוֹנֵּנוּ וְצָרוּ צְעָדֵינוּ מִלֶּכֶת בִּרְחוֹבוֹתֵינוּ. וְכָל לֵב נָמֵס כַּמַּיִם וּמַכּוֹתֵינוּ אֲנוּשׁוֹת. כִּי בָאָה עַד יְהוּדָה נָגַע עַד שַׁעַר עַמִּי עַד יְרוּשָׁלִָם: עַל זֹאת אֶסְפְּדָה וְאֵילִילָה אֵילְכָה שׁוֹלָל וְעָרוֹם אֶעֱשֶׂה מִסְפֵּד כַּתַּנִּים וְאֵבֶל כִּבְנוֹת יַעֲנָה: (מיכה א׳ ח׳ט׳):
אֱלֹהִים אַל דֳּמִי לָךְ אַל תֶּחֱרַשׁ וְאַל תִּשְׁקֹט אֵל: כִּי הִנֵּה אוֹיְבֶיךָ יֶהֱמָיוּן וּמְשַׂנְאֶיךָ נָשְׂאוּ רֹאשׁ: עַל עַמְּךָ יַעֲרִימוּ סוֹד וְיִתְיָעֲצוּ עַל צְפוּנֶיךָ: אָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי וְלֹא יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד: כִּי נוֹעֲצוּ לֵב יַחְדָּו עָלֶיךָ בְּרִית יִכְרֹתוּ: אָהֳלֵי אֱדוֹם וְיִשְׁמְעֵאלִים מוֹאָב וְהַגְרִים: גְּבָל וְעַמּוֹן וַעֲמָלֵק פְּלֶשֶׁת עִם יֹשְׁבֵי צוֹר: גַּם אַשּׁוּר נִלְוָה עִמָּם הָיוּ זְרוֹעַ לִבְנֵי לוֹט סֶלָה: עֲשֵׂה לָהֶם כְּמִדְיָן כְּסִיסְרָא כְיָבִין בְּנַחַל קִישׁוֹן: נִשְׁמְדוּ בְעֵין דֹּאר הָיוּ דֹמֶן לָאֲדָמָה: שִׁיתֵמוֹ נְדִיבֵימוֹ כְּעֹרֵב וְכִזְאֵב וּכְזֶבַח וּכְצַלְמֻנָּע כָּל נְסִיכֵימוֹ: אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ נִירְשָׁה לָּנוּ אֵת נְאוֹת אֱלֹהִים: אֶלֹהַי שִׁיתֵמוֹ כַגַּלְגַּל כְּקַשׁ לִפְנֵי רוּחַ: כְּאֵשׁ תִּבְעַר יָעַר וּכְלֶהָבָה תְּלַהֵט הָרִים: כֵּן תִּרְדְּפֵם בְּסַעֲרֶךָ וּבְסוּפָתְךָ תְבַהֲלֵם: מַלֵּא פְנֵיהֶם קָלוֹן וִיבַקְשׁוּ שִׁמְךָ יְיָ: יֵבֹשׁוּ וְיִבָּהֲלוּ עֲדֵי עַד וְיַחְפְּרוּ וְיֹאבֵדוּ: וְיֵדְעוּ כִּי אַתָּה שִׁמְךָ יְיָ לְבַדֶּךָ עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ: (תהלים פג):
כִּי טוֹב יוֹם בַּחֲצֵרֶיךָ מֵאָלֶף בָּחַרְתִּי הִסְתּוֹפֵף בְּבֵית אֱלֹהַי מִדּוּר בְּאָהֳלֵי רֶשַׁע: כִּי שֶׁמֶשׁ וּמָגֵן יְיָ אֱלֹהִים חֵן וְכָבוֹד יִתֵּן יְיָ לֹא יִמְנַע טוֹב לַהֹלְכִים בְּתָמִים: יְיָ צְבָאוֹת אַשְׁרֵי אָדָם בֹּטֵחַ בָּךְ:
וְקַיֵּם בָּנוּ אֶת הַפְּסוּקִים: נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי יֹאמַר אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: דַּבְּרוּ עַל לֵב יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְקִרְאוּ אֵלֶיהָ כִּי מָלְאָה צְבָאָהּ כִּי נִרְצָה עֲוֹנָהּ כִּי לָקְחָה מִיַּד יְיָ כִּפְלַיִם בְּכָל חַטֹּאתֶיהָ: קוֹל קוֹרֵא בַּמִּדְבָּר פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְיָ יַשְּׁרוּ בָּעֲרָבָה מְסִלָּה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ: עַל הַר גָּבֹהַ עֲלִי לָךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת צִיּוֹן הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: הִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהִים בְּחָזָק יָבוֹא וּזְרֹעוֹ מֹשְׁלָה לוֹ הִנֵּה שְׂכָרוֹ אִתּוֹ וּפְעֻלָּתוֹ לְפָנָיו: כְּרֹעֶה עֶדְרוֹ יִרְעֶה בִּזְרֹעוֹ יְקַבֵּץ טְלָאִים וּבְחֵיקוֹ יִשָּׂא עָלוֹת יְנַהֵל: כָּל גֶּיא יִנָּשֵׂא וְכָל הַר וְגִבְעָה יִשְׁפָּלוּ וְהָיָה הֶעָקֹב לְמִישׁוֹר וְהָרְכָסִים לְבִקְעָה: וְנִגְלָה כְּבוֹד יְיָ וְרָאוּ כָל בָּשָׂר יַחְדָּו כִּי פִּי יְיָ דִּבֵּר: (ישעיה מ׳):

Friday, October 2, 2015

Simchat Torah - Unleashing the Power of Joy and Dance by Rabbi Eliezer Berland Shlit"a

Simchat Torah and Sukkot
Unleashing the Power
 of Joy and Dance
Transcribed and translated from previous recordings of
HaRav Eliezer Berland Shlit”a
”And you shall rejoice in your festivals” (devarim 16:14)

Even though during all of the Jewish Holidays there is a mitzvah to rejoice, on the Holiday of Sukkot it is a mitzvah of it’s own! The verse “And you shall rejoice in your festivals” is said about Sukkot. On Sukkot in the Bet Hamikdash there was unusual Joy. The Sages established extra Joy for the Holiday of Sukkot, multiplied Joy! The entire Holiday was set aside for non-stop dancing and rejoicing!

Certainly one must study Torah as well, for if a person doesn’t have Torah he lacks the ability to dance [from holiness and purity], as Rebbe Nachman explains (LM2 31): “Through melody it can be recognized on a person if they accepted upon themselves the yolk of Torah, and the sign is “On their shoulders they will yisa’u (lift it)” (Bamidmar 4) as our Sages expound (arachin 11) “There is no mention of the word yisa’u in the Torah without reference to song as it says ‘sa’u zimra - raise up song’”, and this verse was said in regards to the sons of Kehat whose jobs were to lift up the Holy Ark on their shoulders which refers to one accepting upon themselves the yolk of Torah.”

One who accepts upon himself the Yolk of Torah can sing, dance and make music.

In the Bet Hamikdash there was extraordinary joy as the Torah itself says “And you shall rejoice before Hashem your G-d seven days”, it’s a mitzvah d’oraita, a Biblical Commandment! This commandment is not said by Pesach, not by Shavuot, it is said only by Sukkot. It is a biblical commandment to rejoice constantly for seven days! The Torah commanded us to rejoice and dance non-stop, day and night, for 7 days!

How would they do this?

They would bring every musical instrument, they would play with violin, harps, and cymbals etc. Each and every person would play with the instrument he’s familiar with. But the dancing? The strongest, stormiest dancing? The dancing while juggling? This only the greatest Tzadikim would do! The moment the dancing began only the greatest loftiest holiest Tzadikim would dance; they would do flips, cartwheels, somersaults etc., like it says about King David. Only esteemed men who toiled all day in Torah and Mitzvos and faithfully taking care of the needs of the community, who didn’t sleep all night and day, who sacrificed their entire beings for G-d and His People – only they were the ones who would be dancing, flipping and spinning in the Holy Temple.

Nowadays, it is incumbent on every Jew to dance and rejoice during these holy days, and to know that this happiness and dancing is a great and awesome rectification for the soul. A person does not know which kind of harsh spiritual judgements are waiting for him in the coming year. The Rebbe says (LM 206), A person sins and harms his soul, at first things continue to go well for him, Hashem then begins to send him slight hints, if he still doesn’t get it Hashem calls to him louder, until the person starts getting kicked and pounded with suffering.

You sinned? Do teshuva! The same Torah that told you it’s a sin tells you about teshuva! But if you don’t do teshuva then maybe after some suffering something will start to sink in, you will begin to do teshuva, begin to sob over your spiritual blemishes, get shaken up a drop! If not, then G-d forbid, a spouse will get sick, if not a spouse then the children G-d forbid!

The Rebbe promised that he will fix everything, but the question is how will he fix? Which suffering much a person prevail in order to receive his fixing. Sometimes it hurts to go to a doctor, and if someone is really sick the surgery can be painful. We are Jews! Nothing is rectified for free! By the Christians nothing is needed to be done, just go to the Priest and confess to him once a year and he says ‘forgiven forgiven’ afterwards everyone continues as before. By Jews there is no such thing! For sins a person must pay! On every transgression he must pay! If a person doesn’t do teshuva, and doesn’t wake up then he starts getting hit with suffering as it says “There is no suffering without sin”.

There are 22 days from Rosh Hashana until Simchat Torah to fix everything. Kabalistically, from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur the Judgements and sweetened, we sweetened our yetzer harah that it shouldn’t control us. Now from Yom Kippur until Simchat Torah there are 12 days for forgiveness of sins, we are now building the New Year. Until now we got the Ktiva and Chatima writing and sealing of the decree. Rosh Hashana is the sealing for the complete Tzadikim, Yom Kippur for the beinonim regular people. Now is the time to build! The building is on Sukkot! With joy! Dance! Song! Fervorous prayer! And according to how much a person sings and dances during these days that is how he builds the coming year.

Through dancing and singing all of a person sins are forgiven. What is the Hebrew word for dance? Machol. Machol means to be forgiven! All of a person’s sins are forgiven! Through the Mecholot dancing not one sin remains! No sins! No Judgements! The Arizal says that in addition to the joy which we are commanded on Simchat Torah, whoever rejoices and dances on the night after Simchat Torah, dances until dawn, he merits that all his sins will be completely nullified!

The dancing and the joy are what’s building the coming year. Through dancing one imbues healing into the coming year, through dancing one imbues salvation and all of one needs into the coming year, the spiritual consciousness of the coming year, the heart of the coming year.

With the help of Hashem we will merit this year, through the joy, the singing and dancing - forgiveness of sins and sweetening of judgements, and the complete redemption speedily in our days, Amen!

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