A lesson given by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit”a, on Friday the 17th of Av, 5760.

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     “Know, that it is also a very great thing for a person to see himself with the true Tzaddik” (Likutei Moharan II:72). Even if he doesn’t hear any Torah, just seeing the Tzaddik—seeing the face of the Tzaddik—is an incredible thing, for through this, one receives humility. One can receive the humility of Moshe Rabbeinu. And if one is privileged to hear Torah [from the Tzaddik], then it is an even greater thing. And to hear Torah “lishmah” [studied for the sake of heaven alone] is that much greater, for every movement of the Tzaddik is permeated with humility and self-effacedness. Yet, even if he doesn’t hear Torah, the seeing alone—just seeing the Tzaddik and meriting being with the Tzaddik—is also a very good thing. Just seeing a Tzaddik, a true Tzaddik whose every movement is permeated with humility and self-effacedness…When he sees himself [spends time] with the Tzaddik, then he will certainly receive greatness in accordance with his self-effacedness. All true greatness is directly proportionate to a person’s humility. Through this, one receives greatness.
    “And this is the aspect of, ‘And you, go look among the entire people…captains of thousands and captains of hundreds (Shemos 18:21). For when Moshe, who was the most humble of all men, looked into each and every person, he was able to grant greatness to each and every person [in accordance with his level].” And the main element of greatness is humility. The more a person struggles to achieve humility, the more he becomes worthy of greatness. For Moshe’s face shone because of his intense humility and shame, which is what we find with regards to Hashem Himself. Hashem made Himself small, as it were, in that he created simple creatures like ourselves, ants, and grasshoppers like us, and then He restricted Himself even down to our level. The fact that He is able to limit Himself to that degree is itself the measure of His greatness and His power. With regards to Hashem [it is written], “Everywhere that You find His greatness, that is where you find His humility.” Hashem lowers Himself to an infinite degree. Even though He sees sinning creatures, lowly creatures, He dwells with them even in their impurity. He lowers Himself to reach every single person, for everyone possesses a Divine spark.
    Hashem penetrates and weaves Himself into a person, into the heart of each and every human being, including the non-Jews. “In the image of G-d he made man.”  Also the non-Jews have this Divine spark. When Moshiach comes, that spark will start to come to life. For the main element of greatness is humility, and as much as a person is able to lower himself, that is his greatness, and his strength. “In the place that you find his greatness, that is where you find his humility.” The main element of the future resurrection—that which will be brought back to life at the time of the future resurrection—will be according to all the points of humility that a person collected during his lifetime.
    Every day, every second, a person must manifest some point of humility. This is what the Yehudi HaKadosh meant when he said, “When two Jews sit together to drink a cup of tea and each one is thinking that he is less than his friend, then all their sins are forgiven.” That is what Rebbe Nachman meant when he said to someone that he could show him the Moshiach over a cup of tea. The Rebbe felt himself to be so lowly that he could have been able to bring the Moshiach. The minute that two Jews meet, they both need to be thinking, “I’m less than him.” When they do, at that moment, all their sins are forgiven. As Rav Avraham Kalisker said, “I don’t have to work on my humility at all, for all Jews are certainly kosher [i.e. more kosher than me], and I know exactly where I am holding.” So it turns out that he didn’t have any work at all to do to improve his humility. 
    Humility is the only greatness that there is, [and it is] the main element of the future resurrection—that which will get up again at the time of the resurrection. The entire resurrection of the dead is the [awakening] of the points of humility that a person achieved during his lifetime. Life will be eternal and that element of us that will be resurrected, that which will come back to life, will be this point of humility. Only this will get up again.
    The entire Torah is only meant to bring a person to humility. Moshe merited attaining the forty-nine levels of Binah. That was why he was more humble than any other human being. The more G-dly consciousness (mochin) a person has, the more humble he is able to be. If a person can’t bring himself to humility, it’s because he has no G-dly consciousness. Just as people say, “He’s got no diskettes.” [This is a slang expression used in Hebrew, meaning that he has no intelligence.] With what, then, can he be humble? The more diskettes he has, the more humble he can be. The more wisdom a person has, the more ability he has, and the more humble he is able to be. He is able to believe that he really is nothing. The less G-dly consciousness a person has, the less he is able to believe that he is nothing. The fact that a person wants to be honored only proves that his intelligence is lacking, that his awareness is faulty. Anyone who wants honor is a fool, for glory is only due to the King of glory (Likutei Moharan I:194).
    “And who is this King of glory?” When Shlomo brought the Ark of the Covenant into the Temple, the gates stuck together. He said, “Lift up your heads, oh you gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in” (Tehillim 24). The gates said, “Who is this King of glory?” Shlomo said to them, “Hashem strong and mighty, Hashem mighty in battle.” Even so, the gates refused to open until David stood up out of his grave and said…“Rabbi Berachia said, ‘David got up out of the grave and opened the gates’” (Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Va’eira). Shlomo was in no way able to open the gates. It was only David, the epitome of humility, the small one, who was able to open the gates of the Temple.
    What did Shlomo HaMelech say? “Oh Hashem, G-d, do not turn away the face of Your anointed one (Moshiach)” (Divrei HaYamim II:6:42). He saw that the gates wouldn’t open. He said, “Raise up your heads, O you gates, and be lifted up, you ever lasting doors; and the King of glory will come in.” So the gates asked, “Who is this King of glory?” Shlomo answered, “Hashem strong and mighty, Hashem mighty in battle.” They asked again, “Who is this King of glory?” Shlomo answered, “Hashem of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.” But the gates still wouldn’t open until he prayed and said, “Oh Hashem, G-d, do not turn away the face of Your anointed one” (Divrei HaYamim II:6:42).
    “Rabbi Brechia said in the name of Rabbi Chelbo, ‘At that moment, David lived again.’” David lived—he got up from the grave and opened the gates. David was saying about himself, “Hashem, You have brought up my soul from the grave, You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit” (Tehillim 30:4). The gates would only open for David, since he was the epitome of humility. And Shlomo was saying, “Master of the Universe, do it in his merit, ‘Remember the faithful love of David your servant.’” His prayer was immediately accepted, as it says, “Oh Hashem, G-d, do not turn away the face of Your anointed one.”
    The more intelligence a person is, the more humble he can be. When he has no intelligence, he can’t be humble. He feels the need, instead, to make a spectacle of himself. “For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool” (Koheles 7:6). The fruit trees asked the thorn bushes why their voice is heard. The thorn bushes answered, “You produce fruits, so you don’t need to make your voices heard. As for us, if only our voices could be heard!” The less G-dly consciousness a person has, the less intelligence he has, and the more he wants to be honored. He wants to put himself in the forefront all the more.
    This is what Rabbeinu taught in Likutei Moharan I:135, that Moshe was the most humble person because he merited attaining the forty-nine gates of Binah. That was how he merited being the most humble person in the world. Humility is proportionate to one’s intelligence. One needs a great deal of intelligence in order to be humble, and it is only this point of humility that will get up for the resurrection. Only the point of humility will get up for the resurrection. “Arise and sing, you who dwell in the dust” (Yeshayahu 26:19). And the Rabbis learned out that this means “one who is like dust during his life” (Sota 5), for the main element of the resurrection is the point of humility that a person possesses. As many points of humility that a person collected during his lifetime, that is what will get up at the resurrection of the dead. Each and every person’s humility is what will live again in the ultimate future, because only a humble person can experience spiritual pleasure. Spiritual pleasure can only be experienced by someone who nullifies the influence of his own physical self. As long as a person still has a sense of self—of ego—all the while that he still is commanded by his body, he doesn’t really feel the pleasure of the spiritual.
    Now it is soon going to be Shabbos. At ten to seven we already light the candles. To feel the sweetness of the Shabbos lights, the sweetness of Shir HaShirim, of the Shabbos itself, only someone who has nullified himself completely—who is the epitome of humility—can really feel it. Only once he has attained the state of “nothingness” —because he is absolutely humble—can he enter the state of the infinite. In mathematics it is known that “nothing” is the aspect of infinity. The pleasure of the World to Come can’t be appreciated now; we don’t understand at all what the World to Come is. We believe in it, but we don’t have a sense of it at all. Our existence now is limited, and when a person is limited he can’t experience the purely spiritual pleasure of the World to Come. This idea extends to the pleasure of Shabbos too.
    Shabbos comes, and a person feels the delight of the Shabbos in the cholent, not in the Shabbos itself—in the prayers. He doesn’t feel any pleasure in the prayers at all because he is a physical being—he has a body. He has to make himself into nothing. He has to attain humility, and then he’ll feel pleasure in prayer, in chatzos, in getting up to pray at midnight. On Shabbos night, it’s possible to achieve spiritually what one can on Kol Nidrei night, and anyone who delights in the Shabbos is granted a portion without limit. He strips off his body—his limitations. For the pleasure of Shabbos is a taste of the pleasure of the World to Come, which is limitless. In order to experience the pleasure of Shabbos one needs to be free of one’s limitations. One can only be free of limitations when one is humble.
    The main element of the eternal life of the ultimate future, the pleasure of the World to Come, is only the humility that each of us possesses. The more points of humility that a person amasses, the more he can feel a spiritual pleasure in everything: in prayer, in the letters of the prayers, and in Shabbos. A person only experiences the pleasure of the World to Come to the degree that he is humble. That is why, when a person is humbled or shamed by others, he has to accept it with such profound joy. Such debasement strips away his body, and he remains a soul freed of the limitations of the body. Then he can feel pleasure in spiritual things.
    This is the pleasure of the World to Come: the humility that each person possesses. When a person is truly humble, he becomes freed of his limitations because he becomes literally as though he was nothing. Little by little he humbles himself further and further, and others also humble him, until he becomes transformed into nothingness. Once he becomes as nothing, he actually encompasses the entire world. His soul becomes like a “green line” that extends throughout the entire world (Chagiga 12a). This is what happened to Queen Esther. Because she was so humbled by others, she became like a green line. [The verse says that she was “green” (yerakrokes).] 
    This green line is Binah that surrounds the entire world, because the soul of the Tzaddik surrounds the entire world, which is why it is possible to bind oneself to the Tzaddik from anywhere in the world. Because of the Tzaddik’s absolute humility and attainment of this state of nothingness, he surrounds the entire world. The Tzaddik becomes like the encircling light of the world as a whole. Just like Esther who was “green,” [which refers to] this green line. Likutei Moharan I 12:4 quotes the Zohar which says that this green line, the green line that encircles the entire world, is the line of Binah.
    When a person enters the state of nothingness, then his soul encircles the entire world, and he is omnipresent. The more “nothing” he is, the more omnipresent he is. The more limited he is by his physical self, the less he is able to be in all places [because] he is limited by space. The Tzaddik, who is literally like nothing, has no limits at all. He embraces the ends of the earth and becomes the encircling light of the entire globe, of all the stars, and of all of the cosmos. He can do this because he is absolutely humble.
    The main element of the eternal life of the World to Come is this aspect of freedom from limitations. It is said [in the prayers] of Shabbos—which is a taste of the World to Come—“Those who taste of it merit life,” for Shabbos is the World to Come. And now is the time that we have to start preparing for the Shabbos. In another eleven hours it will be the time of candle-lighting. One can already feel—one can start to prepare. There are another eleven hours to prepare for the Kabbalas Shabbos prayers, to prepare yourself and attain this state of nothingness so that you can feel pleasure when the Shabbos candles are lit. For when a person lights the Shabbos candles below, the candles are lit in the Upper Worlds as well. All of the spiritual lights of the soul are kindled in the Upper World, and a person receives this light exactly at the moment when the candles are lit here in this world.
    The Zohar teaches that at the moment that Shabbos is ushered in by lighting the candles, a person’s soul ascends to the world of Atzilus, a world that has no limit or boundary to it. Shabbos is a taste of the World to Come. “Those who taste of it merit life.” Anyone who tastes the sweetness of Shabbos merits life, eternal life. In order to reach humility and true greatness, one needs to first experience a flash of G-dly consciousness. The more intelligence a person has, the more he merits to attain humility. His soul will then, as a matter of course, spread forth throughout the entire world like Queen Esther, whose rule ultimately extended throughout one hundred and seven provinces. For the soul spreads forth throughout the entire world as a matter of course. Ultimately, it rules throughout the entire world. Such a person merits receiving true greatness. “A king is caught in its tresses” (Shir HaShirim 7:6), in his G-dly consciousness. For Malchus is greatness, and it is bound and caught within the intertwined fibers of the mind, since a person receives greatness to the degree that he has developed G-dly consciousness. And the moment that a person’s mind is electrified with G-dly consciousness, he becomes a partner in the construction of the Holy Temple.
    If ten people would merit having their minds electrified by G-dly consciousness, the Holy Temple would be rebuilt, for the mind has to spark in holiness. It is forbidden for a person’s Torah study to be something that is merely physical. “And there was darkness (‘choshech’) which may be felt (‘va’yamesh’)” (Shemos 10:21). One can read the verse differently: “If a person is full of self (‘mamashus’), then he’s in darkness.” A person must learn purely for the sake of heaven, purely for spiritual reasons, so that he should be on fire for Hashem and become nullified before Hashem. “All my springs (yearning) are in You” (Tehillim 87:7).
    This is what Rav Shlomo of Karlin said, “All my springs are in You.” Some Chabad Chassidim walked from Pinsk to Karlin to see Rav Shlomo. They arrived during the third meal of Shabbos, and all he said was, “And singers and dancers alike will say, ‘All my springs are in You.’” “All my longing is only in You!” All the people there were so inspired by his words that they didn’t take off their Shabbos clothes for three whole days. They just danced and sang for three entire days. Afterward, the Chassidim returned to the Baal HaTanya and said, “What you accomplish by giving over Torah for eight hours, he managed to do in just two minutes. All he said was, ‘All my springs are in You.’ Only in You! I only want to come close to You, to cleave to You! I have no other interest in life, all my springs, my interests are in You!” They were so overwhelmed by a fiery enthusiasm and this experience of attachment to G-d that they couldn’t take off their Shabbos clothes for a whole three days. They didn’t eat or drink.
    Someone who merits that his mind sparks with consciousness of G-d is building the Holy Temple. Consciousness and G-dly awareness are the aspect of the construction of the Holy Temple. Just as the Sages said, “Anyone who has G-dly awareness [it is as though the Temple was rebuilt during his lifetime.]” The main thing is awareness, is Da’as, [meaning] that a person should study Gemara for no less than eight hours a day. There is no reason why [a person cannot do this.] None of you have ten children yet. All of you are still young avreichim, and every woman wants her husband to learn. She literally cries in secret that her husband isn’t learning. And everyone is obligated to learn Gemara eight hours a day. He has to find the best kollel that he can, the best study partners. He has to sit and learn. There are no excuses of having to take care of communal affairs. They can’t possibly excuse or cover up the fact that a person isn’t learning. He should first learn for eight hours, and then he can go and take care of all kinds of communal affairs. He can then go and help people and families in need, children—all kinds of things. He needs to learn for eight hours straight, with a break of an hour or two in between. If he doesn’t, then he can hardly be called a human being. He’s a taxidermist’s dummy that just looks like a human being.
    If a person would just have G-dly awareness, if there would be ten people with G-dly awareness, then the Holy Temple would be rebuilt. For anyone who has awareness, it is as though the Holy Temple was built during his lifetime. For awareness (“dei’ah”) appears in a verse between two letters [of G-d’s Name], and so does the Holy Temple. So as much as a person develops his mind and G-dly awareness, as much as he immerses himself in knowledge of G–d, [the more involved he is in the building of the Holy Temple]. This is what people say, “May it be Your will before You, Hashem our G-d and the G-d of our ancestors, that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt speedily and in our days.” “We want Moshiach now!” Now. We want that Moshiach should come today—this minute.     Everyone wants the Holy Temple to be rebuilt. Everyone asks, “When will the Holy Temple be rebuilt?” The advice to accomplish it is simple. “Grant us our portion in Your Torah.” Learn Gemara for eight hours, and the Temple will be rebuilt today! That’s all.
    For whom will the Temple be rebuilt—for people whose heads are filled with straw, for stuffed skins that look like human beings, for animals in the form of people? For whom will the Holy Temple be rebuilt? In the time of Shlomo HaMelech, “the earth was filled with knowledge of Hashem, as water covers the seabed” (Yeshayahu 11:9). Shlomo was wiser than any other person in the world (Melachim I 5:11). He possessed such wisdom, more so than any other person, so he merited to build the Holy Temple. Hashem won’t build the Holy Temple for people who lack G-dly awareness. It won’t help them. They’ll say, “We want Moshiach now!” They’ll pray for the Holy Temple. But a person has to fill his mind first—his mind is empty. A person studies mathematics all day long or physics, and he receives honor for it. There is honor to be gained by studying medicine. But learning Gemara is only for the sake of heaven, only for the purpose of cleaving to Hashem, of always thinking about Hashem. If not, then I am guilty that there is no Holy Temple.
    Sit and learn Gemara for eight hours straight. Start today—Sunday—to sit and learn. We purposefully have cut the lectures short so that everyone will be able to go and start learning at nine o’clock in the morning. If you learn from nine to five, that’s eight hours. Assuming that you take a break in the middle, you finish at six in the evening. If you take another break, then you finish at seven. After that, it’s possible to accomplish an infinite number of other things. You can be involved in communal affairs, [or] you can help out at home with the children. But if you don’t learn for eight hours, there’s no one to talk to—a bunch of talking mannequins. 
    A person becomes filled with all kinds of questions and doubts because he has no awareness, no intelligence. If a person wants to build the Holy Temple, if he wants to have a portion in the building of the Holy Temple, then he needs to start learning Gemara eight hours a day, every day. He has to start expanding his mind, and only Gemara expands the mind. Physics, chemistry—they don’t expand a person’s mind. Such studies only demand that you fill your mind with facts and figures, but they don’t expand the mind itself. The mind is only expanded through the study of Gemara. Many scientists go crazy at a certain age because all of their study hasn’t impacted their Da’as—it isn’t true knowledge. Their minds have remained empty. He has a lot of figures in his head, but nothing else.
    That which expands the mind is only the study of Gemara, since it is a G-dly study. It is the only study that brings out a person’s Divine intellect. And everyone must try as much as possible to expand his mind and G-dly awareness. A person must sit in a good kollel with good study partners. He can learn for eight hours, and he still has sixteen hours in which to sleep, to eat, to take care of communal affairs. He has time to go and encourage people to donate money to charity and to sign people up for trips to Uman. Whatever he has to do, he can accomplish it after he’s sat and learned Gemara for eight hours. After he’s sat and learned Gemara for eight hours… 
    We will finish at 8:15AM, afterward we will go to the Kotel and we are asking [everyone] not to do any pushing and shoving. [The Rav is referring here to the custom of many of the students to accompany him in a large group to his car when he goes home after the lesson each day, via the Kotel.] It is also forbidden to pass in front of someone who is praying. That’s the halacha. [Regarding sitting down,] the only leniency is if you’ve already sat down and another person has stood up [to pray] behind you afterward. If that’s the case, then the law doesn’t apply. But it doesn’t mean that you can push your way in and disturb others as they pray. That’s absolutely forbidden. Certainly, if a person has a set seat, then the law doesn’t apply. If a person has a set place, then he is permitted to pass among those who are praying to reach his usual place as long as he doesn’t touch or push anyone. But if you need to get to the Kotel and you push people who are in the middle of praying Shemonah Esrei, you transgress thousands of negative prohibitions. For whom do people do this? For Hashem, or so that you can show off how strong you are, that you know how to push people around while they’re praying Shemonah Esrei? All of us here are strong men; all of Shuvu Bonim are “fighters.” [They see someone] in the middle of praying Shemonah Esrei, and Whack! They send him flying. Thus, people will know that Shuvu Bonim isn’t just another bunch of benchwarmers.
    There is no halachic excuse for this, not in terms of the obligations we have to our fellow men and not in halachic terms. If you caught and brought in some crazy guy who feels the need to push other people around, get rid of him. That’s all. You have to be normal. If a person wants to approach the Kotel, he should approach it alone by weaving his way through. Don’t push [other people] on his behalf—ten or twenty people that are standing and praying Shemonah Esrei. It’s only people who have simply lost any vestige of intelligence or who were born without any to begin with [who do this]. I don’t know how to explain this. I wouldn’t have believed it myself. If it can’t be done, then we won’t go close to the Kotel. [Just because] there are people at the Kotel, so now we will kill everyone, stomp on everyone, and strangle everyone. We’ll bring benzene and pour it all over everyone too—all because the Rav needs to get to the Kotel. People have simply lost their minds, their sense of proportion. They’ve lost all of their G-dly consciousness, all of their brain. They’re worse than the Arabs, than the gentiles. I don’t know how to explain this. A small amount of brains, a small amount of intelligence...
    We can stand at our ease in the square and not go right up to the Kotel at all. We’ve already been there once in the morning when no one was around. A person comes to the Kotel and sees that people are praying Shemonah Esrei, so he should just find himself a place that hasn’t been taken. [If] all the space is taken up, so he should just stand a little further away until a place opens up for him. There is no dispensation [for pushing one’s way in.] The halacha only permits a person who is already sitting at the side to remain seated even when those around him are standing. If, however, he is sitting with others behind him and the person at his back stands for Shemonah Esrei, the one who was seated must also stand. The person at the edge who is permitted to remain seated is allowed to do so only because he is already within his own small space—but I don’t have the right to break into the space of someone who is standing and praying Shemonah Esrei.
    People [here] don’t learn halacha; they don’t learn anything. This Shuvu Bonim is the most insane yeshiva. I have to tell the truth. When a person is praying, many halachos apply. A person who learns should learn this halacha. A child of six already knows this halacha. If someone is standing [and praying] behind them, they don’t budge. Five-year-old children know that it is forbidden to move. What a five year old child knows, our twenty or thirty year olds…Hashem should have mercy.
    Probably it [the space immediately in front of the Kotel] will already be filled up. [On the other hand] since there is no Torah reading today, there might be more room [by the time we are finished here and go down there]. If not, then we will stand at the back and recite three chapters of Tehillim, and make three rounds of dancing. No one has the right to push the people who are standing and praying Shemonah Esrei there. Perhaps the time will come when Shuvu Bonim will set up guards [at the Kotel] and everyone will need to show a special pass to get in. They’ll say, “Shuvu Bonim is here.” The same as they did for the Pope. They’ll clear out the Kotel for them. They’ll decide that they’re like the Pope. That’s what they’ll decide.
    [What we need is] a little presence of mind, a little common courtesy—manners like the non-Jews have. We’ll come slowly to the Kotel, and we’ll see if we can pass through. We’ll keep four cubits away from anyone who is standing and praying Shemonah Esrei as we try to pass. If it doesn’t work out, then we’ll stand at a distance and not approach the Kotel at all. We’ll recite a chapter of Tehillim and that’s it!
    The more a person works to expand his mind and his G-dly awareness…A person must expand his mind, his G-dly awareness. Also on Shabbos, everyone has to keep an eye out for his children on Shabbos afternoon and make sure that his children aren’t outside wandering around. After I spoke [about this] on Shavuos, some parents came to me who had had to take their children to the hospital on Shabbos. I mean, for how long can children throw stones at churches? They get sick of it after a while. [Throwing stones at] Highway 1 also gets tiring eventually. In the end, they throw stones at one another. If someone were to go up to the mother of such a child to tell her that her son threw a stone, that mother would throw him down the stairs. “My son threw a stone?! He is an angel that descended from heaven! It’s not possible.”
    Everyone has to know that his child is an angel; however, the child is a physical creature in the meantime, and the body is the body. As much as we might envision in our wildest imagination what the body is, we could never really picture what the body could actually do! A person has to refine his body for one hundred and twenty years all with the hopes that maybe, just maybe, the soul will reveal itself in the end. That is why a person has to constantly expand his mind and his G-dly awareness. He must get his head into the Gemara. Little by little, Shuvu Bonim will weed out these people. Anyone who doesn’t know Shas will not be able to get in here. Little by little we’ll weed them out. Anyone who doesn’t know Shas…
    There are, thank G-d, so many leaders in Breslov today. There is a new leader every month. People can go to “Az” [the name of one of the new groups.] The group “Az”—“Az yashir,” “Az Zeh…Az Zeh…”  I have yet to know what they want; I don’t understand it. They have formed a new group “Az” “Az.” I saw all their literature, for me it was a great help. They’ve written out all the “Azim” [all the places in the Torah where the word “Az” is written]. The Ten Divine utterances, and everything helped me a lot, but what should I do practically speaking?
    I don’t know what they want. Should one just say “Az” “Az”  “Az” all day long? I don’t get it. I have a small mind; I don’t get it. I’m a little defective. I always was the worst student in the class, so it’s hard for me to get it. They want “Az.” Fine, just leave Shuvu Bonim alone already. There are so many groups today, every person starts his own group. Go to “Az.” Go to “Za.” Go to “Baz.” I don’t know. Go to “Daz.” Everyone will start his own group. Here’s a good combination: “Gaz Baz.” The “Gaz” company. The “Baz” company. All kinds of companies. Just leave Shuvu Bonim already. Just leave ten people here who want to learn Shas, and that’s all, as long as you’ll at least retain your love of one another. Here are only types who push each other around. We need to go there where everyone hugs and kisses each other. They don’t have anything else to do other than hug and kiss each other. So everyone should just leave Shuvu Bonim alone, and we’ll keep on building here. They’ll leave us ten people and let us have a little peace.
    This yeshiva was opened so that people would study Torah. That is why, and there isn’t any other reason. I’ve said it a thousand times: Shuvu Bonim has no particular approach, no banner, and no special mission. It is just the study of Gemara. People think that this contradicts Breslov. So let them go somewhere else if they think that the study of Gemara contradicts Breslov. Let them go to other teachers who will exempt them from studying Gemara. All of my lectures are only about the study of Gemara. Someone said to me that I’m opposed to the study of Gemara. I nearly went out of my mind. The Rabbanit went crazy. Someone came to me and said that he had heard that the Rav is opposed to the study of Gemara! And this was a wise man with a good mind, not just anyone, because I’m always screaming about [the same issue]. Learn for eight hours! Stop your nonsense!
    We’ve always said in all of the lectures that this yeshiva was opened only for the study of Gemara, not for anything else. Any word you speak to the Rav that doesn’t have to do with the study of Gemara pierces him like a sword. You don’t need to know anything [outside of the learning]. He is not a mover and a shaker, not a politician. He is not a leader in Breslov. He is a simple person who just wants to make sure that people learn Gemara. That’s all. Everyone has his own mission, his own purpose in life. The purpose of the Rav is to bring people to learn Gemara. That’s all. Everyone will get to Uman in his own way. You could even make a subterranean tunnel, now that they are closing all the airports.
    I spoke with Shimon Anshin yesterday, [and said] that he should dig a tunnel all the way to Uman. He has the [drafts] and  everything. Instead of travelling by Concorde, we could travel by “Corkinette” [scooter]. They’re already grounding the Concorde, so we’ll travel by “Corkinette.” In any event, my purpose isn’t bringing people to Uman. Nowadays, the way is already open and one can travel alone. My purpose is just that people should learn a minimum of eight hours of Gemara a day, and that they should hopefully come to learn  sixteen hours a day. This is my entire goal and purpose. Anyone who understands me or sees me differently in his imagination should know that he’s mistaken.
    I am prepared to cancel going to the Kotel. I’m not a person who pushes people. I never pushed anyone in my life. “The more modest [Kohanim] removed their hands from the showbread.” When the Kohanim saw that people were pushing to get at the showbread…The showbread is the highest thing in the world, if you eat it your descendants become wealthy until the end of time. Yet when the Kohanim would see that people were pushing to get at it, they wouldn’t try and get any. The Messilas Yesharim says that this is the highest level.
    This yeshiva was opened for—and anyone who is interested in hearing the Rav’s opinion and accepts it should know that there is only one goal here—learning Gemara for eight hours a day. After those eight hours, one should study Rabbeinu’s works and do hisbodedus and learn Likutei Halachos. One can spread Rabbeinu’s ideas and do good deeds. Anyone who doesn’t learn Gemara for eight hours a day is simply requested to leave this yeshiva. We are simply asking him to do us this favor before we have to remove him ourselves. Everything else that people tell the Rav doesn’t interest him at all. These stories from here and there, stories about different people…They see people at the Kotel, so they tell them all kinds of stories. One person tells about his daughter, that he came all the way from Australia. Perhaps I have a match for her? He gave me the details. Why not? Maybe I can work something out for her. Stories like this man who came from Australia, and maybe I have some match for her.
    I’m not a matchmaker. The Rebbe is a matchmaker. He ascended to heaven and was given the job of a matchmaker. I’m not in heaven; I’m in the deepest pits of hell. Only the Gemara can release me! People have to get some mental composure, to sort out their minds. They have to understand that the Rav is not an information desk; he’s not a matchmaker’s office. He doesn’t heal the sick. He doesn’t revive the dead, and not anything else. He doesn’t rent or sell apartments or buy them either. People should take up a Gemara, and then they’ll get some real intelligence. The Gemara will be like a sun for him. His intellect will shine like the sun. The moment that a person has the Gemara, his intellect illuminates the entire world for him. The mind is like the sun, and when a person studies Gemara, he receives a mind. Rabbeinu says one must learn with power.
    This is the first lesson of Likutei Moharan and also the third. Regarding the study of Gemara, Rabbeinu says that the letters of the Torah become enclothed in the letters of the prayers. All of Likutei Moharan is about Gemara, Gemara, Gemara. I don’t know how they changed Likutei Moharan. I don’t understand it. There are a million teachers in Breslov, but none of them speak about Gemara. I had an argument with the smartest young man in Breslov. It took him an hour’s arguing until he admitted to me that they are wrong. He thought that Breslov opposes the study of Gemara, but he admitted I was right after arguing for an hour. Until one learns all of Shas, until one knows all of Shas clearly, there isn’t any Chassidus; there isn’t any Chassidus. So in the meantime, they learn a little Likutei Moharan, Likutei Halachos, they learn about humility and modesty. It is impossible to be humble without intelligence. It can’t be. A person has no diskettes; he hasn’t got anything. How can he be humble? He has to show that he’s a chevraman, that he’s a mover and a shaker. He does, he talks, and he has his own opinions, his own outlook. Outlook, my foot. Learn Gemara, Rashi, Tosfos, and that’s it. Learn Ramban, Rashba. Aside from that, you don’t need to know anything at all.
    That’s how we’ll build the Holy Temple. We’re not the Temple Mount Faithful, or the Temple Mount Opposition. We only build the Holy Temple by learning Gemara. A person should expand his mind and knowledge, to immerse himself in the knowledge. The more that he works to expand his mind and his G-dly awareness by learning Gemara, [the more that] he is the one who is involved in building the Holy Temple. That is called building the Holy Temple. “For the main aspect of building the Holy Temple is the expansion of one’s intelligence.”
    You want to build the Temple? Start to learn Gemara for eight hours a day. What’s the problem? Sit on a chair for eight hours. Who’s preventing you? Your wife is crying day and night that you should learn Gemara. All of the women here cry that their husbands should learn Gemara. What gives you the right to deceive your wife, to upset your wife, to make her and everyone around you miserable? If you don’t learn, others won’t learn either. “If you neglect the [study of] Torah, you will find many reasons to [continue to] neglect it” (Avos 4:12). One explanation is that if you slack off from your learning you will find plenty to do instead. A second explanation is that if a person suddenly starts to slack off from his learning, other people learn from his example and everyone starts to slack off. They say, “Hey, he’s doing nothing. I’ll also do nothing.”
    “The main aspect of building the Holy Temple is the [expansion] of one’s intelligence, as was said before. One who has a mind that is quick and sharp…” One must expand and sharpen his mind in order for it to be quick and sharp. One has to be always working to expand his mind and his awareness. This is the aspect of being involved in the building of the Holy Temple, that he always works to expand his mind and his awareness in the aspect of building the Holy Temple.
    You want to build the Holy Temple? You want to bring people to Uman, to develop Uman? You can only do it by learning Gemara. Everything will be built up through the study of Gemara, everything will be developed. All of the gates will open and they will build structures and tens of thousands of people will come, only through the study of Gemara. Every letter of Gemara that you learn draws another person there. Only the letters of the Gemara have the power to draw people there, not getting involved in communal affairs, not activism, and not publicity. The more Gemara you learn, the more you are called a person who is involved in the building of the Holy Temple. And this has to expand your awareness, your mind.
    “In proportion to the extent to which he expands his Da’as and mind, does he merit to receive greatness. This is the aspect of, ‘Do you see a man diligent in his business?’ (Mishlei 22:29).” ‘A man diligent in his business’ means the study of Gemara. “‘He will stand before kings.’ ‘A man diligent in his business’ is the aspect of the person with a quick and sharp mind.” When a person doesn’t learn Gemara, he simply becomes coarse. He speaks profanity, he speaks nonsense, and he becomes jealous. He hounds others and everything he says is not to the point. He also has no assistance from above. “Do you see a man diligent in his business?” That is the one with a quick and sharp mind. “He will stand before kings.” A man who is diligent in his business has a quick and sharp mind. “‘He is diligent in his business,’ that is to say, in the business of building the Holy Temple. For the construction of the Holy Temple is proportionate to the [expansion] of one’s mind and awareness. Through this, ‘He will stand before kings.’ He will merit greatness, the aspect of Malchus, for greatness is proportionate to the flash of insight in the mind.” All greatness comes because the mind has sparked with insight. “‘A king is caught in its tresses,’ as was mentioned above.”
    We spoke about humility. The Agra D’Kallah [HaRav Tzvi Elimelech Shapira from Dinov, writer of the Bnei Yissaschar] explains here. He explains the verse, “And there was people…” (Bamidbar 9:6). It doesn’t say that “there were” people who had been ritually impure [at the time of the Pesach offering], it says, “there was [singular].” What does this mean, “There was?” This is because they were unable to bring the Pesach offering. How did they merit  that this revelation should come through them, that they should be the cause of a new revelation of a halacha that hadn’t yet been revealed? How did they merit having Hashem reveal this halacha to Moshe through them? “And there was people.” Who were they? They were Mishael and Elitzafan, the sons of Uziel. They were the cousins of Aharon HaKohen, and they burned like fire with longing for Hashem. Mishael and Elitzafan the sons of Uziel burned day and night for Hashem just like Nadav and Avihu had. In their closeness to Hashem, they burned day and night. They were such people, and they suddenly saw that the privilege of bringing the Pesach offering together with the entire nation was being denied them.
    Nadav and Avihu died on the first of Nissan, and Hashem commanded that Mishael and Elitzafan to be the ones to bear the bodies of their brothers. Nadav and Avihu were burned on the first of Nissan. “And a fire went out from before Hashem and consumed them. And they died before Hashem. And Moshe said to Aharon, ‘This is the word that Hashem has said. I will be sanctified through those who are close to Me, and I will be glorified upon the face of the entire nation.’ And Aharon was silent.” (Vayikra 10:2-3). “I will be sanctified through those who are close to Me.” They are the holiest ones. In Parshas Tetzave, Hashem had already told Moshe, “And there I will meet with the children of Yisrael, and it will be sanctified by My glory” (Shemos 29:43).
    [Later, when the bodies of Nadav and Avihu had to be borne,] Moshe called to Mishael and Elitzafan. Why did he call to them in particular? There are so many Jews to choose from. Why did he choose them of all the others? “And Moshe called Mishael and Elitzafan, the sons of Uziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, ‘Come near. Carry your brothers from before the sanctuary out of the camp’” (Vayikra 10:4).
    What did they understand from this? They saw what was about to happen, that they wouldn’t be able to bring the Pesach offering. They understood that Moshe had received a task, a command, that they in particular should become ritually unfit by bearing Nadav and Avihu so that they wouldn’t be able to bring the offering. They understood that Hashem had rejected their Pesach offering, that it was all prearranged that they should have to bear Nadav and Avihu’s bodies because Hashem didn’t want their offering. Hashem didn’t want to grace them with the privilege of bringing the Pesach offering.
    The Agra D’Kallah explains this further: They reached the pit of despair when they saw that Hashem was rejecting them, that Hashem had told Moshe to pick them from all the others for this task. That Mishael and Elitzafan in particular should bear their brothers. They were so despondent. They felt so humbled, and they were in such a state of nullification. They felt, “Why should we be any less?” This was their question in Parshas Naso. “Why did Hashem reject us? Why did Hashem command us to touch Nadav and Avihu’s bodies? Why did Hashem command us to bear them? Apparently, Hashem wanted us to become impure. We really are impure people, more than anyone else among the Jewish people. We are the most impure in the entire camp. That is why we are the only ones who will not be able to bring the Pesach offering. We really aren’t worthy.”
    The moment that they reached this level of humility—that they truly felt that they were so unworthy that they wouldn’t be able to bring the Pesach offering—that was what brought about the revelation. The Agra D’Kallah says that they reached a point of humility that was beyond the humility of Moshe Rabbeinu. At the moment that they reached a level of humility that went beyond even the humility of Moshe Rabbeinu. They merited having this halacha revealed through them. 
    May we truly merit bringing the Pesach offering and the building of the Holy Temple, speedily and in our days, immediately. Amen!
 

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Home Lessons given by  the Rav HaRav Levi Itzchak Bender, zt"l.