Lecture of HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit”a
Delivered on Monday the 20th of Av 5760.
Likutei Moharan I:101 : “With the [Divine
Name] Y-ah, Hashem formed worlds” (Yeshaya 26). “In
the beginning, He created…” [Lesson’s title:] “When the wicked, my enemies
and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell” (Tehillim
All of the enemies that a person has are the result
of his still being a fleshly being: he still has blood, muddied-up blood
(damim achurim). All of a person’s physical and spiritual
enemies come from his muddied-up blood. Hashem created the world with the
Torah. The Torah, which is called “Reishis,” created worlds. “With
the [Divine Name] Y-ah, Hashem formed worlds.” The “yud” is
the intellect [see the Torah there].
There are those who only learn large amounts of
material superficially (“bekius.”) This is a terrible mistake.
One does need to learn bekius, but he also must learn “b’iyun,”
in-depth. Bekius alone is like saying Tehillim: it doesn’t break
the evil inclination. Only in-depth learning breaks the evil inclination.
The “yud” of the Torah is the “yud”
of the primordial wisdom. The Land of Israel is this “yud”—the ten
utterances with which Hashem created the world [Likutei Moharan
II:78]. Right now, we are only on the way to the Land of Israel.
We need to reach this “yud.” “This is the intellect of the Torah;”
this is the intellect of the Land of Israel. “And the ‘heh’ is
the letters of the Torah.” The ‘heh’ is studying bekius,
and the ‘yud’ is learning b’iyun. A person can spend
several hours studying bekius, but the majority of his time must
be spent studying b’iyun, in-depth. If a person learns b’iyun,
then he is able to remember what he learned bekius. Only b’iyun
learning develops the intellect and expands the mind. [See Likutei Moharan
I:13, paragraph 1, and I:35, paragraph 8] This is called “Building
the Temple,” expanding one’s understanding. One is obligated to expand
one’s understanding through in-depth study. “And the five books of the
Torah are an aspect of the five categories of sounds produced by the mouth.
‘For with the [Divine Name] Y-ah, Hashem formed worlds.’…This is an aspect
of ‘yud’ and ‘heh’, with which Hashem created the worlds.”
“‘You are human’ (Yechezkel 34).” What is called “human”?
A person is called human only by virtue of in-depth study!
This is as we mentioned two days ago, that a person
who does not study Gemara is not complete. If he doesn’t study Torah in-depth,
then he is missing part of his intelligence. Even the gentiles learn Torah—they
also learn Tanach, but not in-depth—so they cannot achieve the deeper intellect
of the Torah.
There is a story about Rabbi Yonasan Eibeshitz.
Once he entered the study hall and saw someone sitting and learning in
the corner without swaying over his Gemara. This was, in reality, a disguised
priest who had decided to sit and study for two years in yeshiva. He was
a genius—they tested his understanding of a page of Gemara and he was successful.
But, Rabbi Yonasan Eibeshitz saw that he did not sway as he studied, and
he immediately threw this priest out saying to him, “You are a gentile.
You are not a Jew!”
A gentile can also learn Gemara, but the intellect,
the warmth, the Divine light that is within the Gemara can never be grasped
by him. “That is why you [the Jewish people] are called ‘human,’”
because we are able to receive the intellect inherent in the Torah. “The
gentiles are not called ‘human’ (‘Adam’).” [They are not referred
to in the Torah by the name 'Adam.'] They are called “man” (“ish”),
but not “Adam.” Adam is only the person who is worthy of
the intellect of the Torah, “for there are seventy shining faces.”
If a person does not learn Gemara in–depth, then he walks around with a
darkened countenance. His face is like a deep darkness. Anyone who looks
at his face sees only this deep darkness.
Therefore, we must purify our faces that they should
shine like a mirror, and then anyone who looks at us will immediately repent
of his sins and will experience a spiritual awakening. “They who fear You
will see me and be glad.” (Tehillim 119:74) The face of a person
should shine like a mirror, should shine with life-force. “The wisdom of
a person illuminates his face.” (Koheles 8:1) The “wisdom of a person”
is the Gemara, the intellect of the Gemara. This is the wisdom that illuminates
a person’s face. And if a person does not possess the intellect of the
Gemara—not encyclopedic and superficial knowledge of the Gemara, but in-depth
knowledge of the Gemara—then his face has no light. And, he projects a
dark face to everyone else.
Therefore, a person must see to it that he has these
seventy shining faces, for within the Torah are all the seventy faces.
There are seventy faces/facets to the Torah: Rashi, Tosfos, Ramban, Rashba—all
of the Rishonim and Acharonim. Just as it says in Likutei
Yoreh De’ah, one must know all of the commentaries
that exist. This appears on page 160. He says that one must know all of
the Jewish books that exist. This is Breslov! Anyone who has
a Likutei Moharan or a Likutei Halachos that says differently,
then I am more than willing to trade with him!
Nowadays, thank G-d, there are a million “mashpi’im”
in Breslov, a million leaders. No one speaks about Gemara; no one speaks
about praying forcefully. Instead, they speak about all kinds of concepts
like meditation: the “Philosophy” of Breslov. But there is no one talking
about what must be done in Breslov on a practical level. Everyone has a
different Likutei Moharan, a different Likutei Halachos.
Perhaps it is worthwhile to buy the book that Gavriel Grossman published.
I went through that one, at least more or less, and I think that it is
Here, though, it says that we must know all of the
books of the Talmud with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosfos, the Maharsha,
with all of their commentaries. This includes the Rif and all the commentaries
on it, with the Rosh and all of the commentaries on that, and the Rambam
and all of its commentaries. Also, one must learn the Tur and all
of the commentaries on it. That is what it says! Anyone who has a
different version of Likutei Halachos…perhaps it would be worthwhile
to reprint this page and paste it in: page 160. The yeshiva should
print it. Maybe someone tore it out. I don’t know why people don’t learn
the Rambam, or the Tur, or the Shulchan Aruch. Apparently, someone must
have torn out this page, or there must have been an error in the printing.
We’ll print this page a thousand times, twenty thousand times, and hand
them out to the whole world, to all the Breslovers, so that they can paste
it into their copies of Likutei Halachos. [The Rav continued
to read from Likutei Halachos, p. 160] All of the works of
the Acharonim—the Beis Yosef, the Rama and the commentaries on them,
responsa—one needs to know all of this!
So who put it into this person’s heart to make a
different Breslov, different approaches within Breslov?
Anyone who has been in Breslov for half a year is
already a leader and teacher. He is already a spiritual guide for the masses.
It is good that he is a guide—but the Rebbe says that these people don’t
even know how to lead themselves, so how can they try to lead others?
In Likutei Moharan I:61, the Rebbe says that there are leaders who
are called “Rebbe;” all they want to do is lead. This desire comes from
the “excess”—they have muddied-up blood that rages within them, and they
have a powerful drive to lead. They know how to read the Gemara a little
bit, a page of Likutei Moharan, a page of Likutei Halachos,
so they need to lead others. They don’t even know how to lead themselves!
They, themselves, don’t learn the way they should, don’t pray the way they
should. All the more so, do they not know how to lead others.
All of this [matter of today’s leaders] is parenthetic
[i.e. not our subject here today.] All that we are depends upon our
study of Gemara. In Likutei Halachos, Even HaEzer,
Hilchos Yibum 3, is says that Hashem runs the world only through
the study of Torah. The entire running of the world—heat, cold, kings,
the hanging of kings, the murder of kings, the slaughter of kings, the
shooting of kings—all of this is contingent on the study of Torah, on how
a person learns Torah. The difference between the Jewish people and
the nations of the world is only the study of Gemara. The gentiles learn
Tanach, they even learn the Gemara. They even learn the Rambam, but they
do not possess the light that is within the Rambam; they do not reach the
depth that is within the Rambam. There is a faculty called “Maimonides”—a
University faculty of the gentiles that is dedicated to the study of Maimonides.
They try to understand a little, but they are unable to understand anything
at all. So the difference between us and the gentiles is in–depth
Torah study, the G–dly intellect. The gentiles do have a Divine spark,
but it is very much smothered. Moshiach is going to begin
to reveal this Divine spark.
It says in Hilchos Yibum 3 that all of Hashem’s
running of the world is done through the vehicle of the letters of the
Torah, and all the changes that occur in the world are the products of
the letters of the Torah being expressed as new Torah concepts. How the
letters are put together in new ways, how they are built differently, how
new intentions are infused into the letters with fear and love of G–d,
this is what runs the world! And this is what determines the nature
of the whole world, that in one place it rains and in another there is
a heat wave; in one place it is cold and in another it is moist; in one
place kings rise, in another they fall; here kings are assassinated, there
they are crowned.
Until a person learns Gemara in-depth, he is unable
to escape from his bad character traits. For everyone has seventy bad character
traits, not one, but seventy negative character traits: seventy burning
pyres. A person cannot escape from them without possessing all of the seventy
facets of the Torah. A human being is lazy, and he is full of burning
desires. Everything within him is the opposite of what it should
be. Instead of burning with the fire of Torah, he burns with desire. Instead
of presence of mind, he is depressed. All of the four elements
are the opposite of what they should be in him:
Earth: makes him lazy instead of making his mind
settled and composed.
Fire: brings him to feel negative desires instead
of a burning enthusiasm for G-d.
Wind: Instead of having spirit—real vitality—he
gets blown around by every wind. For no reason, he flies around all over
the place, wherever the wind blows him.
And Water: also alludes to all the desires. Instead
of having the calm waters of equanimity, white waters, the white “bile”
[which means to be phlegmatic or emotionally stable], he is instead flooded
with the waters of negative desires, the treacherous waters. “Then the
treacherous water passed over our heads” (Tehillim 124:5). He is
sunk in the treacherous waters, he is up to his nose in the desire for
women [Bamidbar 21:30]—the treacherous waters! He doesn’t
even try to get out of this. He doesn’t even know that one must get out
of this. He could be a Breslover Chassid for a hundred years and still
not know that he has to escape from this desire.
A person has to know that he has seventy negative
character traits—and they don’t disappear with the press of a button!
And they don’t go away by traveling to Uman! Traveling to Uman is
a blessing—one receives a holy spark from Rabbeinu! But the work—the
Rebbe won’t do the work for you! You have to do the work;
have to work on your negative character traits! The Rebbe will not do the
work for you. That is your job. The Rebbe will not give you a house
that is all prepared. You have to build the house. You either have
to get the money together, or you have to put it together brick by brick
yourself. This is exactly the way it is with negative character traits:
you can’t escape from them by pressing a button. Travel to Uman and you’ll
be free of all your negative character traits—there is no such thing. These
are the fantasies that people dream up for themselves, and that is why
they fall further and further. They have no understanding of what it means
to work on one’s character, how to get rid of negative desires. They have
no grasp of this, they haven’t even begun.
This is what the Rebbe says in Likutei Moharan
I:152, that one must travel to the Tzaddik with self-sacrifice,
because Hashem will send G-d fearing people who will try to stop him from
traveling to the Tzaddik. But even if he travels to the Tzaddik,
even if he gets there with self-sacrifice—he could sacrifice himself and
disregard his own self completely—he still won’t get a mind from this,
not a mind. A mind needs to be developed. Everyone is born with his
own bit of mind, and it is this that he has to develop. Even if a
person travels a million times to Uman, his mind will only grow when he
works on it: by sitting eight hours over his Gemara, sitting at it for
eight hours, sixteen hours, a whole day. “But it is impossible for
wisdom to enlighten him” [Likutei Moharan I:152]. They say
to him, “Travel to Uman and you’ll become wise; you’ll be a Tzaddik;
you’ll conquer of all your negative traits.” Quite the contrary!
You are simply flying with the wind; you fly every month to Uman.
You went, but you don’t know why you went. You returned, but you don’t
know why you returned. You went empty, and you came back empty!
Reb Meir Blecher, as soon as he got to Uman, would
sit for three days and not go up to the Rebbe’s grave site until he had
finished reviewing all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch. Because of
this, he would only go up once a year on Rosh Hashanah. He would sit for
three days, finish the whole Shulchan Aruch, and only then would he go
up to the grave site. People go the grave site empty, with nothing.
The main thing is, “I was in Uman!” It is as if he climbed some mountain
peak, some Mount Everest. Once upon a time, the “peak” in Israel was Eilat.
People would hitch rides to get to Eilat. Now they hitch to get to Uman—the
same exact accomplishment. But the Rebbe says explicitly: “It is
impossible for wisdom to enlighten him.” This is even if you will
be in Uman a million times. Wisdom does not enlighten a person because
of traveling to Uman.
The mystery of Uman is that it is a segulah
for Divine assistance, for the atonement for sins. But, it doesn’t guarantee
any of your service of G-d or any wisdom. For that, you alone need to work.
The Rebbe will not do the work for you. It says in Chayei Moharan:
I won’t do the work for you. Do it yourselves! Work on your
characters; work on repairing your blemishing of the Covenant; work on
guarding your eyes; work on modesty and humility—this is your job. This
applies even to wisdom, the mind—the Rebbe doesn’t do brain transplants.
The mind has to be developed by learning Gemara for eight hours, sixteen
hours. “And Hashem will hasten the redemption in general, and in
an individual sense.” This was from Likutei Moharan I:152.
We are returning to lesson I:101. A person has seventy
negative character traits, and he needs to know that he is totally immersed
in the seventy negative traits. He should not fool himself, and he needs
to begin to work on this. He can only begin to work on this by learning
Torah in-depth. Without mental faculties, you can’t work on this at all.
One needs to sit and study for eight hours learning b’iyun, in-depth.
He also needs to spend time learning bekius, and there are eight
hours for sleeping and eating. This applies to anyone who has negative
character traits, and everyone does.
Hashem went to all the nations, “Hashem came from Sinai, and
rose up from Seir to them; He shone forth from Mount Paran” (Devarim
33:2). He came to Seir, and they asked, “What is written in the Torah?”
“Do not murder.” He came to Paran and told them it said, “Do not
steal.” Hashem went to every nation and showed them [that the Torah
prohibits] the very character trait that is the most difficult for them
to work on. [The Rebbe explains there that each nation has a specific negative
character trait that is most prominent in that nation, and it is this particular
character trait that Hashem showed them that the Torah prohibits. On discovering
that the one thing that they loved doing the most was forbidden, they each
in turn decided against accepting the Torah.] “And he [Yishmael]
will be a wild man, his hand will be against every man and every man’s
hand against him” (Bereishis 16:12). How can you say, “Do
not steal?” The only way I can survive is by stealing! There are Arabs
that work at a job and get paid a salary, and still they have to steal
something. If not, then they haven’t finished their day’s work. They don’t
feel as though they have fulfilled their purpose in life. That is why the
verse says, “A wild man, his hand will be [literally] in everything.” They
say to him, “Do not steal,” but this is his whole life! “Do not murder.”
How can the gentiles not kill?
[The lesson in Likutei Moharan continues.]
“And anyone who accepts upon himself the yoke of Torah.” Everyone
has his negative trait—to shame others, to insult others, to be inconsiderate
of others—that is the way he transgresses the prohibition of “Do not murder!”
“Anyone who shames his friend publicly has no portion in the World to Come.”
(Sanhedrin 107a). This is worse than anything. This is worse
than every other sin that there is—“He has no portion in the World to Come.”
An adulterer still has a portion in the World to Come if he repents, but
someone who shames his friend in public, how can he repent? You already
shamed him in public: it’s over. You caused him irreparable damage.
This could harm his chances for a good shidduch afterward or could harm
him in so many different ways that there is no way for you to repair what
you did. You have no portion in the World to Come.
Reb Nosson says, however, that even this can be
repaired through the Tzaddik. He can arrange it so that you will
be able to appease everyone. He can arrange everything—he knows how to
shoot an arrow and retrieve the arrow after it was shot! This is why people
travel to Uman, so that if I shamed a person in public, the Rebbe will
help me appease everyone. He will help everyone think well of me and forgive
me, so that everyone might have a change of heart. But traveling to Uman
will not replace your character traits or your mind. That is your job.
It can give you Divine assistance, but you still have to do the work.
Everyone who removes the yoke of Torah from himself
is given instead the yoke of the government and derech eretz
to bear. This [the yoke of the government] means physical subservience
to the gentile nations. A person can also be a slave to his negative
character traits—to anger, jealousy, and lust.
The Sha’ar HaGilgulim [of the Arizal] says
that there is no atonement for jealousy. A person has to eat no matter
what. So he eats a little too much—what can you do? What can he do, he
can’t know exactly when to stop. But jealousy, what is it? What does jealousy
have to do with anything? Learn well and you’ll get there. You want
to be the Kohen Gadol, fine. Pray and learn, maybe Hashem will choose you.
Why not? Moshe Rabbeinu said [to Korach]: I want you to be
the Kohen Gadol. That was what Moshe Rabbeinu’s Divine service was all
about—that every single Jew should be the Kohen Gadol.
“For by removing the yoke of Torah from himself.”
In Bamidbar Rabbah, Moshe Rabbeinu says, I want you to be the Kohen
Gadol. What is my job? That every single Jew should be the Kohen Gadol.
But not like this—forcing yourselves in with the incense pans. Rabbeinu
says that pushiness is a sign that there is illegitimacy in the family
line. We learn this from the Gemara in Bava Basra
58a. This Gemara is discussed in the work “Binah Li’Ittim”, section
The Gemara speaks about two ostensibly “holy and
pure” women—a mother and her daughter. The mother was truly “holy and pure”
[meaning, the opposite] and the daughter was even more so. The only problem
was that there were people in the community who would speak disparagingly
of the daughter. So the mother rebuked her daughter—why should people talk?
Why should they talk about you, about such a “holy and modest” girl like
you? [All of this is in the Gemara in Bava Basra.] The mother
said to her daughter: Look. (Just then the husband came home and was standing
behind the door. He heard the conversation between these two “holy, pure,
and modest” women. He heard a terrible conversation—his knees started to
tremble and he wished the earth would open its mouth and swallow him. He
wanted to die at that moment.) The mother revealed the secret of her “modesty”
to her daughter, the secret of her “holiness”—that she had her children
in such “holiness and purity.” In short, the mother told her daughter that
of all her ten children, only one is the true son of her husband. She said:
Look. No one knows. No one talks about me or tells rumors about me.
Learn a lesson from your mother: “Don’t abandon the Torah of your mother”
(Mishlei 6:20). Learn a lesson from your mother.
The husband heard this terrible conversation from
behind the door and wanted the earth to swallow him up at that moment.
Ten years later, the day of this man’s death arrived. To whom should he
leave his wealth? He has such “holy and pure, modest and wonderful” children.
To whom should he leave his inheritance? He heard from the children’s mother
that only one son is really his. How could he possibly know which child
is the one? How could one know which child is his? Should they do a blood
Nowadays, we do blood tests. It works: it
is a true test. They do a blood test right away, and they know. And
that’s it. No one can say to you—this is your child! They do a blood test
and then they know, but he couldn’t do a blood test then. They didn’t
have such methods then. According to Halacha, it isn’t considered
as indisputable proof. It is good enough for a court of law, but is not
considered sufficient proof according to Halacha.
What should he do? He knows that there are true
in every generation, truly holy people, that the Jewish people in general
are holy and pure. So he leaves a will stating that he knows that Rebbe
Bena’ah lives in the city and is a true Tzaddik. Rebbe Bena’ah was
the one who marked off where the Cave of the Patriarchs is. He also went
into the Cave. This is the level that Rebbe Bena’ah was on. He was a true
he actually saw Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, Ya’akov and Leah.
He saw all of the Tzaddikim, all of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
He wanted to see Adam HaRishon, but a Heavenly Echo sounded out: “No more!
You have no leave to gaze at the work of My hands!” He finally managed
to see just the heels of Adam HaRishon, and he saw that they shone more
brightly than the sun.
This father knew that there was such a great Tzaddik
in the city. He wrote a will: “All my possessions I leave to just one of
my sons!” Let Rebbe Bena’ah break his head over it. So the
children come to Rebbe Bena’ah, and he asks them, “who did your father
love the best?” Father loved all of us! What can this
mean? He was a devoted father, a faithful father. Each one
said, “He loved me the most.” What do you do? Ten sons! So
he told them: “take sticks and go and hit your father’s grave with all
your power, and ask him, “Father, which son did you mean? Which son
did you mean?” until a voice comes out of the grave telling you the name
of the child to whom your father meant to leave his wealth.” So they took
a pile of sticks and started to beat their father’s grave, they beat it
with all their strength. They beat that grave for a full hour, until their
palms were cracking with the effort. They returned to Rebbe Bena’ah and
said: “Rebbe Bena’ah, no voice called out from the grave. Father didn’t
speak to us. There was no voice at all.” He asked them: “Did all
ten of you go to the grave?” They answered: “No, one of us didn’t
go. He was lazy. Maybe it didn’t work because not all of us went?”
He said to them: “No, it’s fine. The one who didn’t go, he is the one who
is to receive the inheritance! The whole inheritance is his!”
After this happened, the other sons went and slandered
Rebbe Bena’ah before the authorities. They put him in prison; they wanted
to hang him! It’s a long story, but in any event, what does the Rashbam
comment there? “Chabutu”—“they beat” his grave. Rebbe Bena’ah
simply meant to test them. A person who has no trace of illegitimacy
in him is unable to hit. He can’t even hit a grave; he can’t even
hit a stone.
This is what Rabbi Emanuel Pigot learns in his work
Li’Ittim, discourse 60. He brings the story as a proof there,
if one wants to know who is legitimate and who is not. A proper Jew
cannot hit, cannot insult others, cannot hurt another person, and cannot
speak a derogatory word about another person. He says that those
who are illegitimate are brazen, and they are the ones who will go and
hit. Even if we are talking about hitting some stone. But a proper Jew,
a truly modest Jew who was born in holiness and purity will never be able
to hit anyone else, to speak about anyone else, or to push anyone else.
A person, then, has an infinite number of negative
traits that he has to conquer.
This is what happened with Korach. He said that
he wanted to be the one to enter into the Holy of Holies. Moshe said to
him: “I also want you to be the one to enter into the Holy of Holies. I
also want that.” What is the job of Moshe Rabbeinu— “And you shall
be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation"—that each and every Jew
should be a Kohen Gadol, every single Jew. If the sin of the golden
calf had never happened, every single Jew would have been on the level
of the Kohen Gadol, and every single home would have been on the level
of the Sanctuary in the desert. Korach came and said: “How can it
be that Aharon is the Kohen Gadol and you are the king? It’s nepotism!
What is going on here? It’s all protektzia! And Elitzafan, the youngest
of the entire family, gets to be the leader over the tribe of Kehas? (We
mentioned Elitzafan ben Uziel yesterday.)
Moshe said: What do you want, to all be Kohanim
Gedolim? Everyone wants to be Kohen Gadol? I also want that each one of
you should be the Kohen Gadol! For what is Moshe’s divine service
all about? That everyone should be the Kohen Gadol.
You and your entire group, this is what you should
do. Korach, take incense pans for yourselves. You want to get it by pushing?
You won’t be Kohanim Gedolim by pushing! Nothing comes from pushing!
[The Sages said that] the Kohanim who are modest
do not grab for the showbread. Even though it was known that anyone
who ate of the showbread would become rich; nevertheless, the modest Kohanim
do not grab for it. Even if they will never even get so much as a crumb
of it! They give in! They give in if people are pushing! Whenever
there is any pushing, they stand aside.
So a person has seventy negative character traits:
the yoke of the kingdom and derech eretz, by being subject to the
nations and the material world. When a person doesn’t learn Torah b’iyun,
even if he studies with bekius but not also in–depth, then all the
seventy “dark faces” overpower him. If, on the other hand, a person
accepts the yoke of Torah upon himself, the yoke of the Gemara—and it is
a yoke—he doesn’t go home. One doesn’t need to accompany the Rav
wherever he goes, there is no such obligation. It is better to sit in the
yeshiva, to eat a little something, to rest a little, and then to begin
learning. Anyone who slept the night before should start learning
right away. The yoke of Torah! The yoke of Torah! To accept the yoke of
Torah, you should sit and learn; you should finish all of Shas, a tractate
“Anyone who accepts the yoke of Torah upon himself,
is relieved of the yokes of the kingdom and derech eretz” (Pirkei
Avos 3). “Derech eretz” means one’s negative character
traits, the seventy negative traits in which a person finds himself.
A person is pushy, or he is sunk up to his nose in [his desire for] women.
Rav Avraham b’Reb Nachman says, “I sink in deep mire, where there is no
standing” (Tehillim 69:3) and “Treacherous waters” (Tehillim
124:5) refer to these terrible desires. A person is sunk in this
desire twenty-four hours a day and doesn’t know how to get out of it.
As we’ve said before, when a man gets married, [rather
than make merry] we should rend our garments in mourning—[literally] rend
our garments in mourning! If he is worthy, then he can rise higher
and higher—he can bring down the soul of Melech HaMoshiach—but if
he is unworthy, then G-d have mercy. G-d have mercy! For the quarter
of an hour that a person manages to be careful, during that quarter of
an hour, he can bring down the souls of children who will be Tzaddikim,
holy and pure, who will get up even earlier than their father. The father
gets up at five, and they will get up at three. Rather than that, the father
gets up at five or at eight, and they get up at noon. All the coming
generations depend on that quarter of an hour, the entire future of the
He is relieved of the yoke of the kingdom and the
yoke of derech eretz. A person should know that this is work.
This is his whole job—to leave the “derech eretz.” Rabbeinu says
that one can only achieve this by studying Torah b’iyun. Only through
in-depth study—that one should delve into and understand the wisdom of
the Torah—only this way can a person manage to overcome his negative drives
and especially this terrible desire. Women abandon this desire even
before their husbands do. “I already have three or four children, it’s
over.” And the man is still sunk in it—he thinks about it all the day—all
because he doesn’t learn Torah in depth! No other advice can help
He prays again and again with the Rav, but what
he really needs is to learn b’iyun—the Rebbe himself says so. There
is no other Likutei Moharan, and there is no other answer.
Breslov doesn’t have any answers that the rest of the world doesn’t. People
need to understand this once and for all. In Breslov, people know
of the true Tzaddik, that in the end he will bring us to our rectification—in
the end, after one hundred and twenty years. But what will those hundred
and twenty years be like? What will be during those hundred and twenty
years? During all those hundred and twenty years, he needs to act
like a regular Jew: a simple Jew, a simple Litvak, a simple Chassid. One
has to be holy and pure with simplicity. He cannot think, if I am
a Breslover then I am free from the obligation to work on my character,
free from the obligation to guard the covenant, free from the obligation
to study Torah. The Rebbe says that until a person learns b’iyun,
nothing can help him—even his prayers are unacceptable. The Rebbe says,
“Through Torah study, all prayers and requests are accepted” (Likutei
Moharan I:1). Only through Torah study are prayers and requests
accepted. Only through Torah study! Only through Torah study!
If there is no Torah study then it is even worse,
the Rebbe says. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination” (Mishlei
21:27). His prayer is an abomination. If a person does not learn
Torah, says the Rebbe in Likutei Moharan I:9, then his prayer is
simply an abomination. He must continue to pray, though. Now people
will use what I said as an excuse for not praying. “The Rav said that my
prayer is an abomination.” So it’s all over—tomorrow no one will be here.
I will pray alone. What is the worst that could happen? I’ll pray
a little bit slower!
So the Rebbe says that when a person prays without
learning, then his prayer is simply an abomination. The verse says,
“He who turns away his ear from hearing Torah, even his prayer is an abomination”
(Mishlei 28:9). This is brought at the end of Likutei Moharan
I:9:3. The prayer is simply an abomination. What are you, an Arab? A Moslem?
Are you a Christian? [who do not have a Divine obligation to pray]
A Jew must pray! But they don’t have Torah study, and they do not
have this working on their character traits. They do not have these things.
This is an abomination. If a person does not learn Torah b’iyun,
then his prayer is an abomination. But anyone who accepts the yoke
of Torah upon himself—a person has to resolve from this moment on, that
it is not necessary to run after the Rav to the Kotel. It is not necessary
to run after the Rav to Shimon HaTzaddik. It is not necessary!
On the contrary, they should sit and learn in the
yeshiva. Every woman literally cries over the fact that her husband does
not learn. She literally sheds tears over the fact that her husband is
not learning. This is really a case of fraud. She even regrets having
married him. But anyone who accepts the yoke of Torah upon himself
is relieved of the yoke of the kingdom and the yoke of derech eretz.
If a person resolves to sit and learn—if he doesn’t move from his place
from seven in the morning until one in the afternoon—then he is relieved
of the yoke of all his negative character traits. “The yoke of the kingdom:”
this is the kingdom of the gentile nations who rule over us without any
limit [to their control]. “And the yoke of derech eretz”—these
are the negative character traits. This only happens through learning
and it is impossible to change this fact.
Everyone should make a resolution now, after this
lesson, to make an effort to study b’iyun: to stay, not to run after
the Rav. Everyone should resolve to stay here. If someone has children
that he has to send to school or if he is needed to help in the house,
that is something different. Anyone who doesn’t yet have children can stay
and learn. Perhaps, we would then merit that I would stay here all day
long as well—that I would "renew our days as of old.” No one believed
that we would start giving these lessons straight away after Tisha B’Av—that
we would start to come back. We had already given up on that idea. But
one must be a Breslover—it is forbidden to give up hope.
Perhaps we will once again pray Mincha and Ma’ariv
together, every day here. On the contrary, we still want to stay;
we just have not reached that point yet. Perhaps we will: to learn b’iyun.
And perhaps [I will] write more prayers. [I have written a prayer] that
the decree [upon me] to travel [to America, to raise money for the Yeshiva]
should be nullified completely. With prayer, it is possible to completely
nullify the decree. Every day, new problems are arising. Every day,
there are new problems regarding the inflow of money to the yeshiva. It
is becoming more widely known, day by day, that we are in danger of being
forced to close the yeshiva, that we are about to close all the institutions.
We go from meeting to meeting, talking about how we are going to have to
close all the institutions. We are informing everyone that there is a danger
that there is not going to be any more a yeshiva—that everyone will have
to find another kollel for himself.
It still could be that a miracle will happen, that
someone will find out about our situation [and help us], but in the meantime
we are struggling just to cover our daily expenses. What is happening is
terrible—the whole thing could blow up any day. Just to cover our daily
expenses, we need huge loans and donations. We are turning over hundreds
of thousands of dollars in loans every day. To keep the Yeshiva going,
however, we need all of the avreichim [students] to act with self-sacrifice.
It is literally an obligation on everyone to sign up [a standing order
to the Yeshiva] immediately. Every avreich must sign a standing
order for six hundred shekels a month [$150]. Six hundred shekels
means twenty–five shekels per day, for twenty–five days a month (not included
Shabbosim). Everyone should set aside twenty-five shekels every day, or
should go and collect it, in pairs. Twenty-five shekels is what we are
talking about here, it could be collected anywhere, in any synagogue, at
any minyan for Mincha and Ma’ariv. Every avreich must collect these
twenty-five shekels per day. Instead of giving charity, you could give
thirty shekels or fifteen.
The Arizal says that one must give two coins for
charity to represent Rachel, and a third by itself to represent Leah [during
“And You rule in all” in the Psukei D’Zimra]. This raises up Malchut
during the recitation of the words, “And You rule in all.” So one
must give three coins—thirty shekels [in three] ten shekel coins. He should
set it aside so that he will have twenty–five shekels for each day, so
that everyone can attain this goal of raising six–hundred shekels a month.
In America, we also need to raise millions. It could
be that we will find people there [to help us]. They will hear that everyone
gave here in Israel, everyone signed up. It is incumbent on everyone
to sign up for the six hundred shekels right now, and if it should happen
that a person would not manage to raise the money, then I will take responsibility
for him. Anyone who does not manage to raise the money, or who only
raises part of the money, what he is missing will be paid by the yeshiva.
No one should think that he is going to be ruined by this. He can come
at the end of the month and say, “I didn’t raise the money. I didn’t succeed.”
There is no need to fear any risk here that you will go into debt for this.
Yesterday, we signed you up for books, and today we are signing you up
for something else. [During the previous day’s prayer and lesson, an old
Jew came to the Yeshiva selling an approximately twenty book set of the
Zohar with the commentary Matok Mi’Dvash. The Rav told a number of students
to buy the set.] There is nothing to fear. You will get the books, G-d
willing—you will have the books at home. Just having a copy of the Tikkunei
Zohar is a segulah. Everyone must sign up for the standing orders, without
exception. No one is allowed to get out of this—even the unmarried men
can sign up. I hope that everyone will do this. I take full responsibility
that no one will incur a loss because of it—not in spiritual or in material
matters. Anyone who does not manage to raise the money will have
his portion paid by the yeshiva. There is nothing to fear. Everyone will
sign on right now, and with G-d’s help…everyone should also pray that we
will not need to travel at all. [In the States] people are now coming home
from vacation, and many of them have heard about what is happening with
the yeshiva. They are prepared to go out to do what is needed even before
we reach America. With prayer, it could be arranged that several businessmen
and activists in America would take it upon themselves to raise the millions
of dollars that we need right now within the next week or two. I believe
that we will be able to stay in Israel and the decree [for me to travel]
will be canceled. That we will truly merit to learn together, to pray together,
and be able to stay all day long here in the yeshiva, [even up until] for
Mincha and Ma’ariv. That we will learn more lessons and merit the complete
redemption speedily and in our days, Amen.
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