Lecture of HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit”a, delivered in the
Monday, the 27th of Av, 5760
[During the week of this lecture there were two weddings
of Yeshiva students. Both grooms were called Shalom (peace.) One married
a girl called Chaya, and the other a girl called Chana. The Rav opened
the lecture, quoting from Likutei Moharan I:14, paragraph 8, which
mentions two types of shalom and also the name Chana. We bring first
a translation of that paragraph, and then the lecture. Any time that the
Rav mentions two Shaloms in this series of lectures, he is referring to
these two grooms. The Rav brings from a number of lessons in Likutei
Moharan during the lecture. A seemingly unrelated phrase will often
be a quote from the continuation of the lesson. Before the lecture, two
children were bought to the Rav for their Chalaka, the ritual first
cutting of the hair when the child reaches the age of three. This is also
mentioned in the lecture. Furthermore, the wife of one of the Yeshiva students
had a baby girl. The student consulted with the Rav, before the lecture,
regarding which name to give her, and they settled on the name Rivkah.
Also, we think, one of the Rav’s relatives changed her name to Tehilla.
Both these names are also mentioned in the lecture. In the middle of the
lecture there is a section taken from the Baal Shem Tov’s commentary on
the Torah. We have been unable to find this quote and therefore are unable
to elucidate this somewhat obscure section. We are continuing to look for
it, and if we find it we will be able to give a fuller explanation of the
points mentioned. We were also unable to locate the quote taken from the
Maharal of Prague. This lecture is a direct translation from a cassette
Likutei Moharan I, 14:8
And when a person returns honor to its source, to fear of G-d, as was
mentioned above, then the flaws within fear of G–d are made whole [and
corrected], and he then becomes worthy of peace. There are two types of
peace. There is peace in his “bones,” for a person must first see
to it that he has inner peace. Sometimes there is no peace, as the verse
says (Tehillim 38): “There is no peace in my bones due to my sins.”
But fear of G–d brings a person to experience this inner peace, as is written
in the Zohar (Yisro 79): “Where there is fear of G–d, that is where
peace is to be found.” As it is written (Tehillim 34): “For there
is no lack for those who fear Him.” When a person has this inner peace,
then he can pray. For, prayer is mainly a product of fear of G–d. This
is an aspect of (Mishlei 31) “A G–d fearing woman is to be praised.”
For, prayer is a substitute for sacrifices, and regarding sacrifices the
verse says (Vayikra 21): “Anyone that has a blemish shall not offer
sacrifice.” When there is no blemish—meaning, in the place where there
is fear of G-d—then he can approach to offer his pure Divine service. This
is what the verse says about Chana (Shmuel I:1): “And Chana was
speaking [literally, “on”] her heart.” Her fear of G–d made her worthy
of prayer, since the main element of fear of G–d is in the heart, as was
mentioned before. Prayer makes a person worthy of peace in general, that
is the perfection and completion of the worlds. This is why prayer is called
a sacrifice [“korban”], for it brings the worlds closer [“keruv”]
to their perfection and completion.
We have here today two grooms with the name Shalom.
“Peace, peace, to the far and the near.” (Yeshaya 57:19) There are
two types of peace. The two grooms hint to the two types of peace. Peace
in one’s bones [inner peace], and there also has to be peace in general,
through the attribute of heavenly awe. The groom is heavenly awe. This
is why there is peace in his bones, complete heavenly awe. “For there is
no lack to those who fear Him” (Tehillim 34:10.) If he has inner
peace, then he can pray, for the bride is called, “A G-d fearing woman.”
(Mishlei 31:30.) The bride’s name is Chaya. The name Chaya
alludes to Chava [Eve] before the sin. The Arizal says that she was first
called Chaya. Also, Chana alludes to the rectification of her sin. It says
in Shmuel I 1:18, “ve paneah lo hayu la” (and her countenance
was sad no more) which implies that Chava’s sin had been rectified. This
is why she was called Chana—the “vav” was changed into a “nun”.
With Chava, the “yud” had changed into a “vav”, and afterward
Chana came and repaired this and changed the “vav” into a “nun”.
So there are two types of peace: “Peace, peace,
to the far and the near.” “Where there is fear of G–d, that is where peace
is to be found…For, there is no lack to those who fear Him.” When one has
inner peace, he can pray, for the woman is prayer: “A G–d fearing woman
shall be praised.” Prayer comes to replace sacrifices: “All that has a
blemish shall not approach” (Vayikra 21:17.) One that has no blemish
is able to pray, because he has peace in his bones.
Therefore, we have merited having a bride with the
name of Chana, from Hashmonaim. [The bride’s family live in a settlement
called Hashmonaim, near Modiim, between Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv.] Chana
relates to the matter of Chanukah. Chanuka is the letters “Chana Chav
Vav (gematria 26),” as brought by the Arizal. Through her heavenly
awe, Chana merited [to reach the level of] prayer. For the main element
of heavenly awe is in the heart, and through prayer, one comes to the level
of peace in general.
When a person prays, he draws all the worlds closer;
he connects all the worlds. It completes and perfects all the worlds. Prayer
is an aspect of the sacrifices, for prayer raises up all the worlds. This
is why it is forbidden to skip the section of sacrifices in the morning
prayers. If the sacrifices are not recited, then the prayer cannot rise.
The sacrifices rectify the world of Asiyah. The sacrifice of the
in the morning atones for the sins of the previous night, and the sacrifice
of the Tamid in the evening atones for the sins of that day.
[The Rav now brings from Likutei Moharan
I, 37:6, which connects, amongst many other things, the following subjects:
“feminine waters”, Shochtim, the Torah learning of the children
that have never sinned, earning a living being as difficult as the splitting
of the Reed Sea, mantzafach, etc. etc.]
This is what it means, “Beware of veins, like Rabbi
Yehudah” (Brachos 8b). This is because the blood is the soul (nefesh).
Every groom and bride rectifies the level of nefesh. This is why
the shochet, the ritual slaughterer, must be a G–d fearing person.
The chalif (slaughterer’s knife) is a “meachelet” (that which
feeds), which is the aspect of the Akeida (binding of Yitzchak).
In the place of the one who binds and the one who is bound, this is where
all the sins are bound up and atoned for. Speech is an aspect of “A sword
of G–d.” (Yeshaya 34:6) Avraham took the sword there, the meachelet,
and it is in his merit that we eat to this day. Esav wanted to corrupt
this. “The high praises of G–d are in their mouth.” (Tehillim 149:6)
This is the aspect of the “feminine waters” [referred
to throughout kabbalistic literature]. The Shechinah cannot achieve
unification [with Hashem] without “feminine waters”. The “feminine waters”
are the letters of the prayers and the letters of the Torah. And, it must
be the breath of a person that has never sinned: the breath of little children.
Just now, they’ve brought two little children here. That is the breath
that has no taint of sin. And when the ritual slaughterer is not fit, then
he cannot raise up the nefesh. Then when he stands with the knife
to slaughter the living animal, he is just a killer: a plain killer.
A person takes a pure and holy child and kills him
and slaughters him, if he doesn’t teach the child properly. If the breath
of the teacher is not holy, then he kills the child. This is because the
child grows on the spirit and holy breath of his teacher.
So too, if the ritual slaughterer did not recite
the blessing to be said before the slaughtering with proper intent, then
he has killed the nefesh. Then no rectification is achieved, and
the nefesh once again leaves the rooster and is given into the hands
of her enemy. “My soul went out with his word…I called him but he answered
me not.” (Shir HaShirim 5:6) This is because the slaughterer had
an improper thought: “They beat me, they wounded me.” (Ibid., 5:7)
This is what is written in Shir HaShirim:
“The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me; they wounded
me. The keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” If the ritual
slaughterer does not raise up the nefesh, then the animal’s soul
finds no rest. All the destructive spiritual forces pounce on her. He killed!
He is a murderer! He killed the soul! He gave her into the hand of
her enemy. And, the Shechinah has no “feminine waters”, and no food
for her household. That is why, “We get our bread with the peril of our
souls” (Eichah 5:9). No one can make a living! They travel to Eilat,
to Kiryat Shemonah—no one can make a living!
As the Rabbis said: “A person’s livelihood is as
difficult as the splitting of the Reed Sea.” That is why one must
check the slaughterer’s knife: in order to split the sea into twelve sections.
But a person’s livelihood is even more difficult than splitting the Reed
Sea. That is why the knife has to pass through twelve checks, because the
degree of blemish of the knife is the same as the degree of the blemish
of the altar.” Also, the gematria of “on the shechita”
is 437. “You will eat bread with the sweat of your brow” (Bereishis
3:19) The gematria of its initial letters is also 437, which alludes
to the lack of a livelihood.
Whenever people can’t make a living it is because
the ritual slaughterers are not slaughtering the animals with the right
intentions. “He gave sustenance [teref] to those who fear
Him.” (Tehillim 111:5) If the slaughterer isn’t fit, then the Jewish
people have no livelihood. That is why the Rebbe once said to a person:
“Don’t be a slaughterer,” meaning, you shouldn’t be the one to hold back
the livelihood of others.
The word “teref” has two meanings: treifah
(non–kosher), and food. This alludes to the fact that when the Jewish people
guard themselves from eating non–kosher food, they are successful at earning
a livelihood, whereas if they eat non–kosher food, their livelihood comes
to them with much greater difficulty.
[The Rav switches here between Likutei Moharan
I, 37 and 32.] This is “mantzafach” [the initial letters of the
five Hebrew letters that have second “end” letters]. There is mantzafach,
and there is “shach dinim” (320 judgments).
There are two secrets: “mantzafach”, and
“shach dinim”. The gematria of din (judgment) times
five [the five letters] is equal to 320. And this is what we learned [from
the Baal Shem Tov]: “Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant
of Hashem your G–d, which He made with you, and you make a carved idol,
or the likeness of anything which Hashem your G–d has forbidden you” (Devarim
4:23). For there really are 320 judgments. As the Baal Shem Tov said,
“A person that has no fear of heaven has no existence.” There are 320 judgments,
and together with the letter “heh”, they make 325 (shachah).
“And the king’s wrath was pacified (shachachah)” (Esther
7:10.) The gematria of the Name “A-do-n-oi” times five is
equal to 325 (shachah.) The gevurot are the woman herself,
and mantzafach are an aspect of gevurah, the din of
the man himself. That is why the letters become the hinges and doors of
The doors (dalets) are yud, yud
vav: the twenty-two letters out of which the body is built.
The mantzafach are the “feminine waters”.
This is what Rabbeinu is speaking of, that mantzafach which is the
“feminine waters” equals 216 (din)—the secret of the groom and the
bride (Likutei Moharan I:37). 216 is the secret of the bride.
Yerushalayim is “yirah shleimah” (perfect reverence.) Perfect (shaleim)
is equal to the 370, the masculine spiritual lights. They are received
by gevurah. 216 is the bonding of the groom and the bride.
Yerushalayim is built up through the bonding of the groom and the bride.
That is why “Anyone who gladdens the groom and bride is considered as though
he built up one of the ruins of Yerushalayim” (Brachos 6b).
Yonah had wanted to flee to Tarshish. Why to Tarshish?
Because the mystery of Tarshish is the matter of shayish, marble:
pure marble stone [that the four who entered Paradise saw]. Tarshish contains
the letters of the words “reish shayish” (head marble). “When you
reach the pure marble stones, do not say ‘water, water’” (Chagigah
The groom is the upper water, and the bride is the
lower water. The upper and lower waters must be brought together, and that
is the bonding of the groom and the bride. This is what the Gemara says,
that this is the secret of the onyx (shoham) and the jasper (yashpei)
stones (Bava Basra 75a). The groom is called the onyx, and bride
is called the jasper. Jasper is Malchut, which contains all the
colors of the spectrum. She receives all her light from the lights of the
onyx, the masculine. All the lights come to her through him. “Vesamti
kadkod shimshosaich,” “and I will make your windows of kadkod”
(Isaiah 54:12). [Rashi explains that shimshosaich, windows, refers
to the walls of Yerushalaim.] Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini says that two angels
in heaven argue about what the walls of Yerushalaim will be made of in
the future. The two angels are Gavriel and Michael. Some say that the argument
is between two Amoraim [Rabbis from the time of the Gemara] from
the land of Israel, Yehudah and Chizkia, the sons of Rabbi Chiya. Whoever
the dispute is between, one side says they will be made of onyx and the
other says jasper. Hashem adjudicates between them and decides that they
will be made of both, for the groom is called the onyx and the bride is
called the jasper, and the two of them must be brought together as one.
The Maharal of Prague says that this is the secret
of Yerushalayim: that Yerushalayim is the joining together of the groom
and the bride. Anyone who gladdens the groom and the bride is considered
as if he built up one of the ruins of Yerushalayim. When the groom and
bride are joined together, then one of the ruins of Yerushalayim is put
together again. The bride is the 216; she is the gevurot, and the
groom is the “shaleim,” the completion. He bestows completion on
the bride, which are the 370 masculine spiritual lights.
The Maharal says that Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini said:
The groom is Michael. The bride is Gavriel. Michael and Gavriel must be
joined together. That is why the Gemara in Bava Basra 75a says,
“Hashem decides that they will be made of both.” “And your gates of beryl
stone” (Yeshaya 54:12). For, there are two cities of Yerushalayim.
The earthly Yerushalayim is the bride, and the heavenly Yerushalayim is
the groom. And the walls? The walls will be of onyx and jasper stone. The
groom and bride illuminate the walls. The groom does it with his light,
which is why the verse says, “In them He has set a tent for the sun, which
is like a bridegroom coming out of his bridal canopy” (Tehillim
19:6). The groom illuminates the stones of Yerushalayim, the kadkod
stones of Yerushalayim. “And your gates of beryl stone,” and Hashem said,
“They will be made of both.”
Now there are two grooms, two times Shalom. “Peace,
peace, to the far and the near, says Hashem. And I will heal him.” Yerushalayim
is called Shalom, because it means peace. “Malkitzedek, the king of Shalem”
(Bereishis 14:18). Avraham said, “Hashem will show it (yeiraeh)”
(Ibid., 22:14). Malkitzedek the king of Shalem called the place Shalem.
This is the masculine aspect, the 370 masculine spiritual lights with the
heavenly awe. “A G–d fearing woman shall be praised.” He connected the
fear of G–d with the 370 masculine spiritual lights, and that was how he
built Yerushalayim. Uniting the groom and the bride builds up Yerushalayim.
These are the “kadkod stones,” two times
“kad”. And this is the secret of the “kad” (pitcher) of Rivkah:
“And her pitcher was on her shoulder…and she lowered her pitcher to the
trough…and she filled her pitcher and raised it.” (Ibid., 24:15-20) Three
times “kad” (gematria 24) is equal to the permutation of
the Divine Name known as “ayin bet” (gematria 72).
The Arizal says that now, there is only “kadkod,” [the letters chaf
dalet chaf dalet, when added together, two times twenty and two times
four equals forty eight] two thirds of the 72. That comes to 48—the forty-eight
cities of refuge, and the forty-eight boards of the Tabernacle.
Now this “kadkod” is only two–thirds of the
72, 48 is two–thirds of 72. But in the ultimate future, when the Name “ayin
bet” will be completed by Rivkah, and we have merited to give the name
Rivkah and the name Tehilla. Then, “My mouth will speak the tehilla
(praise) of Hashem, and let all flesh bless His holy Name forever and ever”
Rivkah is the light of the morning; she is the one
who goes out with the water pitchers. It would have been possible for the
Torah to say, “And she brought her pitcher…and she filled it…and she brought
it…and gave him to drink.” Why did the Torah have to say: “pitcher…pitcher…pitcher?”
Only so that the three times that pitcher (“kad”) was written would
equal the Name that equals 72. To show us that Rivkah merited to complete
the Name that equals 72, because three times 24 equals 72.
Therefore, says the Zohar in Parshas Shelach,
we have no grasp of who Sarah was, who Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah were. It
is impossible to enter into the heavenly chambers they occupy. If we were
to live a billion years, we would never reach the point where we would
be worthy of entering into the heavenly chambers of Sara, Rivkah, Rachel,
and Leah. They sacrificed themselves completely for Hashem’s sake, and
they were the first to proclaim faith in the world.
Every groom and bride contains within themselves
aspects of Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah.
The Shechinah is Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah, and every bride
is called the Shechinah. The groom is an aspect of Zeir
Anpin. And by bringing a true groom and bride together, Yerushalayim
will be built, the Temple will be built, and the Melech HaMoshiach the
son of David will come speedily and in our days, immediately. Amen.
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