A Lecture given by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit"a,
Sunday, the 26th of Av 5760 in the Old City.
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Here we are, after the two weddings. Both grooms
with the name “Shalom/Peace.” “Peace, peace, says Hashem to the far and
the near. And I will heal him.” A person’s name is not a simple matter.
We are privileged to have two grooms with the name “Shalom.” It is a double
peace, an external peace and an inner peace. These are awesome mysteries.
The Baal Shem Tov says that a person’s name involves awesome mysteries.
A person has to live according to his names—he has to know all the ramifications
of his name, because that is the root of his soul. This is true of every
name, especially a name like “Shalom,” which is also one of Hashem’s Names.
“And His Name will be called…Shalom.” Shalom is one of Hashem’s Names.
Every person has a spiritual root which is in accordance
with his name. Everyone has to understand his or her name. A person lives
according to his name. All of a person’s vitality—all of the essence of
a person’s vitality—is his name, so he has to know to which Tzaddik
he is named after. Sometimes, G–d’s Name is a part of a person’s name,
as in the case of “Shalom.” “Peace, peace, says Hashem to the far and near,
and I will heal him.”
All types of healing are at a wedding, because one
can draw down every type of healing at a wedding. This is concept of the
music at the wedding. At a wedding, the ten types of song are revealed—at
each and every wedding. Sarah [the name of one of the brides] is related
to “sharah,” and the name comes from the root of the word “shirah,”
song. This was how it was with Sarah [Rabbi Nachman’s daughter] and Yitzchak,
from whom the Rebbe said that Moshiach would descend. Reb Nosson says that
every single bride and groom could be worthy of bringing Moshiach, if they
only know how to sanctify themselves.
This is what is written in the Sulam’s commentary
on the Zohar, Parshas Vayelech. When king Achaz closed all of the synagogues
and study halls, Yeshayahu the prophet came to him and said, “It will not
help you! There are children here, and with these children, the redemption
will come. These children will bring the redemption to the Jewish people.”
The moment that holy and pure children come into the world, they can bring
the redemption to the Jewish people.
In the Zohar, Parshas Vayelech, subsection 35 it
explains, “‘This song…’ ‘And those who mock me will be scorned.’ ‘The heavens
will reveal his sin, and the earth will exact vengeance of him.’”
“And Moshe spoke this song” means that every single
stone broke out into song. When they entered Eretz Yisrael, song
burst forth from every single stone. “My secret to me, my secret to me”
means that everything is the Tzaddik. In the Zohar, Parshas
Vayelech, subsection 18 it is written, “My secret to me, my secret to me.
This is a lofty secret, the holy spirit, woe is me over those who dwell
Even if we see that the other side is getting stronger,
then on the other hand this means that holier children are being born.
As the other side gets more powerful, Hashem sends down souls that are
greater, souls that can handle it. So Yeshayahu said to Achaz, “You think
that you can fight with G–d? The more impurity you bring into the world,
the more I, Hashem, will send holier souls down that have the power to
get rid of your impurity as easily as if it was dust set flying by the
breeze, or a fleeting dream, or a cloud that dissipates in the wind. It
says, “My secret to me, my secret to me.” You think that you’ll succeed
with your impurity, but the more you intensify the impurity, the holier
the souls will be that are born.
Those Tzaddikim and Tzidkanios that
sanctify themselves draw down into these completely dark—these pitch black
generations souls that are very great. These souls can drive away all of
the impurity in a flash, with a puff of breath from their lips. “Praise
to the Tzaddik. Praise to the Tzaddik.”
There was “praise to the Tzaddik” coming
forth from every single stone. Song came forth from every stone. “From
all the corners of the earth, we heard songs. Praise to the Tzaddik,
praise to the
Tzaddik.” They entered Eretz Yisrael, and they heard
praise to the
So Yeshayahu took the children. “I and the children
that G–d gave me in this, for signs and wonders in Yisrael.” They are now
going to bring such holy children into the world; there are now such holy
grooms and such holy brides that they can even bring Melech HaMoshiach.
For as soon as they sanctify themselves and purify themselves, it is possible
to even bring Moshiach. Yeshayahu the prophet took these children—a few
young men—and taught them the ways of holiness and purity.
In truth, it is possible to hear all of the ten
types of melody at a wedding. It comes down from the ten commandments,
from the ten Names [of G–d] EHYeH. This is the meaning of the name
Sarah, for the bride rules over the entire world. She sings over the entire
world—her name is the aspect of song. “And singers and dancers alike will
say, ‘All my springs are in You.’”
“If your wife is short, bend down to hear her advice.”
(Baba Metzia 59a) The advice is to be found by the wife. Hashem
said to Avraham, “All that Sarah says to you, hearken to her voice.” The
wife understands how to train the children—she understands better than
the husband does. She said to him, “Throw Yishmael out of the house.” Listen
to her, throw Yishmael out of the house. Listen to her advice.
The truth is that a G–d fearing woman is the aspect
of advice, and advice is specifically to be found with women. Prayer is
the aspect of Malchus, and all advice comes from prayer. One prays
word by word, letter by letter, then he becomes worthy of receiving all
the advice. For prayer is called Malchus, and the woman is the sefirah
of Malchus. There are nine sefiros, and the tenth is the
of Malchus. “With ‘this’ (‘zos’ / her) Aharon will approach
the Sanctuary.” “Zos” refers to Malchus. “Who is this (“zos”)
rising?” (Song of Songs 3:6). “Who together with her is rising?”
[This is the Kabbalistic reading of that phrase that indicates the sefirah
When prayer is in the aspect of Malchus,
meaning that it is said with humility and self–effacedness, “Your wife
is short.” This is the aspect of humility. Then the luminary needs to be
uplifted. There are two great luminaries. Before the sin, Adam and Chava
were the two great luminaries. Adam couldn’t even look Chava in the face,
because she shone so brightly. They were the two great luminaries. That
is why we say to the bride and groom, [in the marriage blessings] “As your
Creator made you rejoice in Gan Eden of old.” For seven days, the couple
is in Gan Eden. Now we have to see how it is possible to remain in Gan
Eden for the rest of your lives. Seven times Malchus, for seven
days, at each festive meal.
The Eitz Chayim says, “In Gan Eden of old—the two
great luminaries.” “Whisper to her”—accept her advice, for prayer ascends
when it is spoken in a whisper. The is why the bride is called a “kallah,”
as in, “Consume (“kalei”) them in wrath, consume them that they
may be no more.” The bride consumes everything; the holy bride destroys
all of the other side. This is the concept of techeiles, the aspect
of David HaMelech, of the harp of David. “It consumes all, it destroys
all.” Holy Malchus nullifies the kingship of the other side, for
holy Malchus is revealed at each and every wedding. The bride is
the aspect of techeiles, which consumes and destroys everything.
This is the meaning of the verse, “All of you (kulchem) are alive
today.” The bride is the aspect of techeiles. “David king of Yisrael
lives and exists.” This is the bride. The Rebbe is saying a profound new
The Rebbe says that the ideas, “It consumes all
and destroys all;” “All of you are alive today;” and “David king of Yisrael
lives and exists” are all referring to the bride. Each and every bride
is the aspect of David, of Moshiach. Each and every bride, “consumes all,
and destroys all.” She completely destroys the other side. She is the harp
of David—she is the Kinneret. Each and every bride is the techeiles.
She is the aspect of David the king of Yisrael, because she longs for Hashem.
He soul faints (“kalsa”) for Hashem. “And David’s soul fainted.”
Each and every bride, says the Rebbe, is the aspect of, “David king of
Yisrael lives and exists.” The moment that one merits a holy bride—we are
privileged to have had two such holy weddings—then this is the moment when
the entire other side is destroyed. The end has come. The end has come
for the entire kingship of the other side. For the holy bride brings the
redemption, and she can bring the Moshiach. That is why we say, “Peace,
peace, to the far and near said Hashem. And I will heal him.”
This is similar to that which Rav Moshe Cordovero
says, that the Tzaddik draws everything down. All of the flow of
spiritual and physical abundance comes from the Tzaddik. He turns
fire into water, water into fire, and he draws down all heavenly abundance.
As it is written in Melachim. The wife of one of
the prophets came and cried to Elisha when the creditor came to take her
sons away as slaves. This creditor was Yoram ben Achav—he came to take
her two sons as slaves.
Ovadiah hid one hundred prophets, and his wife would bring them oil.
She would go from house to house and would collect drops of oil. It isn’t
clear how she could possibly have collected enough oil for one hundred
men. There were fifty pairs in the cave that needed oil to burn so that
they could learn all night long. It was because of her incredible self–sacrifice,
her holiness and purity, that the Midrash says that the little oil she
collected continued to burn all night long. Measure for measure, she was
worthy of having this great miracle done for her.
“Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of
the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, ‘Your servant my husband is dead,
and you know that your servant did fear Hashem. And the creditor is come
to take my two sons to him for slaves.’ And Elisha said to her, ‘What will
I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ And she said, “Your
handmaid has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil’” (Melachim
The Targum on Melachim tells us, “The wife of one
of the students of Eliyahu the prophet came before Elisha saying, ‘Your
servant Ovadiah, my husband, died. And you know that your servant did fear
Hashem when Izevel killed the prophets.’” After Eliyahu swore that there
would be no rain or dew, Izevel went and killed all of the prophets. Those
prophets—the religious, destroyers of Israel, haters of Zion! Murderers!
They bring famine to the world. Because of them, there’s no food—no bread.
She gave an order, and slaughtered all the prophets.
Only Ovadiah and his wife hid fifty pairs of prophets, altogether one hundred
men. He had had a lot of money. Yoram ben Achav went into business with
Ovadiah. Yoram was the king’s son. Ovadiah went into business, Yoram ben
Achav loaned him a lot of money at high interest rates, and now after Ovadiah
died his widow was unable to pay the debt. So he came to take her two sons
He spent all his own money providing for the prophets that he had hidden,
since he didn’t want to use Achav’s tainted money to provide for their
needs. After he was impoverished, Yoram came to take his children away
as slaves. So Elisha said to her, “”What will I do for you? Tell me what
you have in the house. And she said, “Your handmaid has nothing in the
house but a pot of oil.” And he said, “Go and borrow empty vessels from
all of your neighbors, and not a few.” The Midrash says, “Vessels, even
broken ones.” She should bring every vessel, even those that are broken,
and there will be a miracle and they will be made whole. For she used to
collect oil every day for the prophets, and that small quantity, just the
few drops, of oil miraculously burned the entire night. Hashem now performed
a miracle for her involving oil.
“And when you come in, you shall shut the door upon
you and upon your sons, and shall pour out into all those vessels, and
you shall set aside that which is full. So she went from him, and shut
the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her, and
she poured out. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she
said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ And he said to her, ‘There
are not any more vessels.’ And the oil stopped flowing. Then she came and
told the man of G–d. And he said, “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt,
and live you and your children from the remainder’” (Melachim II
In the Yalkut Shimoni, the Midrash says that this
is the power of the prophets. Everything comes through the Tzaddik.
The Tzaddik can draw down oil, to make something out of nothing.
He can make rivers of oil out of a drop. This is what the Biur HaLikutim
says, “And a river ran out of Eden.” This is Miriam’s well. Rivers of water
flowed out of Miriam’s rock, and all of the wasteland and deserts were
transformed into a pool of water—into entire oceans that flowed down into
the Mediterranean, into all the seas. It could have been possible to travel
along these streams out to every corner of the globe.
You lacked for nothing for all the forty years that
you traveled in the wilderness—you even had jewels and pearls. As they
traveled, they were able to follow the waterways that streamed throughout
the entire world from Miriam’s well. They were able to get gems and precious
stones from every corner of the globe, and return right away.
This is Miriam’s well—this is the river that ran out of Eden. This
is the candle, heh. There are five alephs. When they return,
then the five alephs shine. The five alephs that are within
The Rebbe says that at each and every wedding, the
five alephs that are within Binah shine—at each and every
wedding! These five alephs allude to the Name EHYeH that
within Keter, to EHYeH within Da’as that includes
and Binah, EHYeH within Tiferes that includes Chessed
and Gevurah, EHYeH within Yesod that includes Netzach
and Hod, and EHYeH of Malchus. [There are five Names
each of which begins with an aleph. Together, they make a single
All five alephs illuminate the holy bride. She has to bring the
redemption; she has to bring the Melech HaMoshiach. She is the aspect of
David king of Yisrael.
So the groom must illuminate her. The job of the
groom is to draw down the five EHYeHs. Because, until now, the bride
was called a maiden (“na’arah” spelled without the final heh).
But now she receives the heh. This is the river that flows out of
Eden. This is the candle. This is Miriam’s river. These are the five alephs.
From the five alephs, a river flows out, a candle comes out. It
becomes a river by virtue of the five alephs.
This is what the Rebbe explains in Likutei Moharan
“Binah, the heart.” They raise the bride until the heart. They raise
her to such a high level that she can bring the redemption to the Jewish
people. She can protect all of the Jewish people. A single woman can protect
the entire Jewish people! Particularly when you see such dismal generations,
then one woman is enough to protect the entire Jewish people. One woman
who purifies and sanctifies herself, who collects oil so that scholars
can learn Torah, such a woman can protect all of the Jewish people. She
protects all of the Jewish people and she cancels all of the evil decrees.
So the Rebbe says that it is through the lips, “Hashem
open my lips and my mouth will speak Your praise.” Binah—the heart—raises
the bride to the heart. “And you turned their hearts backward.” Eliyahu
was supposed to uplift everyone, to uplift everyone to the heart, and afterward
to Keter within Keter. Before this, the Jewish people were
in the spiritual state called “back to back,” but he raised them up to
within Keter. That was how he nullified the decrees that were on
them. Everyone cried out, “Hashem is G–d! Hashem is G–d!”
And the judgments on the bride have to be sweetened
so that they will then become the holy name ADNY—five times ADNY
is equal to the gematria of the word “na’arah” / a maiden
(written with the heh) who is fit to unite with her mate. When Yaakov
married Leah, they were dancing and singing “Hai Lai” to hint to
him that it was really Leah. “For in my heart, I secreted Your words.”
One must draw down the five alephs that are within Binah,
and that is the secret of the holy bride that protects the entire generation.
She protects all of the Jewish people.
And this is what Rav Abba said in the name of Rav
Maneh, that were it not for the merit of the wife of Ovadiah, and the self–sacrifice
of Ovadiah…She hid the students. If Izevel had known, she would have killed
them. And she merited collecting oil from house to house. “Who are you
collecting for?” “I hid some prophets!” She tells them the truth, “There
are a few prophets that I hid, so make sure that you give me more than
just a drop.” And everyone co–operated with her. They could have informed
on her and she would have had to sacrifice her life.
She reached such a level of self–sacrifice, that
even though it was the generation of Achav and of Yoram his son, when every
hill had idols erected on it, her merit protected the entire generation.
Hashem didn’t bring Sancheriv or someone like him. The Jewish people continued
to exist nearly another two hundred years in the merit of Ovadiah’s wife.
If it hadn’t been for her, the Jewish people would have been finished,
for it was only this worthy woman that saved the Jewish people. If it hadn’t
been for Ovadiah’s wife, G–d forbid, the Jewish people could have gotten
lost completely. And that is a single woman, a single, solitary woman!
A single, solitary woman and there was no one who
could compare to her. She alone saved the Jewish people and canceled all
of the heavenly decrees despite the fact that all of Yisrael was serving
idolatry, all except for a handful of prophets. She merited this through
the oil that she collected drop by drop. She also experienced a miracle,
that the oil burned until morning, because of this. And this was deep inside
a cave, where the oil had to burn all twenty–four hours of the day. They
were deep inside the cave. They were fifty pairs of scholars. They went
maybe one hundred, two hundred, three hundred—who knows how many—meters
into this cave. It was pitch black there, and the oil had to burn a full
twenty–four hours. All the oil that she collected would burn until she
arrived with more. In the merit of this, she was privileged to have her
children live from the excess until the resurrection of the dead.
We will bring the Melech HaMoshiach through every
groom and bride, and we will bring the resurrection of the dead, and we
will build the Temple speedily and in our days, instantly. Amen.
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