Parshas Bamidbar - Shavuos
The Giving of the Torah
The main thing a person needs to do is
to study the 10 commandments deeply, to understand the 10 commandments,
because everyone knows that it is forbidden to murder and to steal and
to covet. Everyone knows “I am Hashem your G-d.” When Hashem said “Do
not murder,” the sons of Eisav didn’t understand. They said, “What? Is
it permitted to murder a person in America? Is it permitted to murder a
person in Russia? Whoever murders is imprisoned forever—it’s the
death penalty!” When the Arabs heard, “Do not steal,” they said, “If a
person steals in Saudi Arabia, they cut off his hands, even to this
day!” If so, what is the meaning of “Do not murder” and “Do not steal”
because it is clear that these things are forbidden? Rather, “Do not
murder” comes to tell us that even thinking about murder is forbidden,
and this is what the goyim didn’t want to accept. When a person thinks
a bad thought about someone, this alone will damage that person! This
is what is referred to in “not murdering,” because the bad thought
itself murders the other person. If a person doesn’t love his fellow,
then he murders him. There is no middle way! Either a person loves his
friend from the depths of his soul, sees his good points and gives him
the benefit of the doubt, or the opposite is true: he hates his friend
and doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, and this is how he
transgresses “Do not murder.” If a person isn’t careful about the way
he thinks, then he actually damages, chas v’shalom.
One who doesn’t work on breaking his bad character traits and his bad
thoughts, then when the time of The Giving of the Torah comes, the 10
commandments don’t apply to him at all! “Do not murder,” “Do not
steal,” and “Do not covet”—he constantly covets, he hates and he kills,
he doesn’t feel that these commandments are even referring to him.
It is written that “you are ‘man’” (‘adam’). You are called ‘adam,’ but the nations of the world are not called ‘adam.’
What is the difference between a Jew and an Arab? Arabs also pray: they
stand there and screech out [their prayers on the loudspeakers] in
Jerusalem. They do this kind of screaming throughout the city. So what
is the difference between you and an Arab? “You are called ‘adam,’ but the nations of the world are not called ‘adam.’” When does a person start being an ‘adam’? When he delves into the 70 Anpin Nehirin of the holy Torah! When he pays attention during the Torah lessons! And when he reviews them and understands the chiddushim
in the lessons! And he doesn’t say that he has no strength to learn, or
that it’s difficult for him to learn, and he doesn’t leave in the
middle, or come late and leave early, or go out 10 times in the
middle—because if he doesn’t put his head into the learning, all his
248 limbs and 365 sinews into the holy Torah then he will never be a
Breslover Chassid! He will never succeed.
Why doesn’t a person feel good? He has aches and pains, he
can’t learn and he finds it difficult to concentrate. Why does a person
have all kinds of troubles and illnesses? Because he doesn’t learn! Why
are you tired? Because you aren’t learning! Start learning and you
won’t be tired. Start learning and you won’t have all kinds of aches
and pains! Start learning and you will be healthy. Start learning and
you will also be able to concentrate. Thus says the Rebbe, that the
only reason that a person has problems, weaknesses and pains; it all
comes from his not learning properly. When a person learns Gemara the
way he should, that is when he becomes a human being. This is what
gives him the neshama (higher soul). It gives him the nefesh (lower soul). It gives him the ruach. Learning gives him a heart. He receives mochin. This is a man (‘adam’). “You are called a man” (‘adam’) comes from learning Gemara, it comes from learning in depth.
A person needs to eat in order to live. A person needs to
eat bread, and also more than bread if he wants to feel strong. Then
all the more so and kal v’chomer
if he wants to learn the holy Gemara, which is a person’s true bread,
because man cannot live on bread alone. This is the true bread! A
person needs to grab hold of all of his senses, his sight and his
entire mind and put them only into learning Torah b’iyun. This is the man—i.e. from this he will become a man (‘adam’).
If you don’t eat, then your body will fall apart, your flesh will fall
apart. Similarly, if you don’t learn Gemara, your body will fall apart.
Your mind will fall apart. Your eyes will fall apart. Your mouth will
fall apart. Your ears will fall apart—anyway they hear all kids of
garbage. If everything falls apart, then the person doesn’t exist at
all. Thus says the Rebbe, that only through the Torah does a person
have life, through learning Torah b’iyun. This is what builds the brain, enlivens the eyes, etc.
Eliyahu the Prophet came across an unlearned Jew. He asked
him, “Why don’t you learn? Why don’t you attend yeshiva?” He answered,
“Me? In yeshiva? I’m an am haaretz
(an uneducated simple Jew). I’m not intelligent. I don’t understand
things. I am just a simple Jewish worker. Why are you speaking to me
about going to yeshiva to learn?” So Eliyahu responded, “Why on earth
not?” “Because I don’t have a brain!” “Well what do you do for a
living?” “I fix fishing nets.” “You fix fishing nets. How is it that
you have the intelligence to know how to fix fishing nets, but you
don’t have the intelligence to learn Torah?” The Jew was so shaken up
by this conversation that he immediately ran to go learn Torah, and in
the end he became a great talmid chacham, one of the Amoraim.
So if a person knows that he has the intelligence to fix nets, and he
has the intelligence to know how to hammer nails into a board and to
attach two boards together, so too can he attach two sugios together or connect two parts of a pasuk,
or two teachings in the Gemara! If a person knows how to fix a net or
to attach two boards together then he also has enough intelligence to
learn Torah. But the moment that he says, “I don’t have the
intelligence,” he should know that it’s just his yetzer hara
speaking, or his laziness or his sadness. There is no such thing as not
being able to learn Torah! So, a person needs to apply his intelligence
to Torah, to put all his ability to understand into the Torah. A
person, Baruch Hashem, has the whole day. If he wants to rest he can
rest! If he wants to eat he can eat! There are still a few hours left
in which to learn Torah—he can still find a few spare hours in which to
learn—but he must learn with all his strength! He must immerse himself
in the Gemara, the Rishonim, the Achronim, in the chiddushim that come up during the lessons.
When a person learns Torah b’iyun
(in depth) and he puts all of his intelligence into the Torah, then he
literally creates new worlds! He creates a new existence! Suddenly
there are new laws which apply to him! He has money to pay for his trip
to Uman! Suddenly, he as an influx of spirituality and an influx of
material abundance! This is because he is creating a new world. Before
he started learning, he was in a world in which he didn’t have much
money, and now he is in a world in which he already has enough money!
This is because through learning he creates a whole new world, because
every moment a person creates new worlds.
When Shavuos arrives, the holiday of the Giving of the
Torah, a person needs to decide: now I am accepting upon myself the
yoke of the Torah. The Rebbe asks, what does it mean to take on the
yoke of the Torah? If a person will say, “From now on I am going to
learn all day. I am going to hold on to this book all day long. I will
say Tehillim all day long. I will say Shas all day long” then he should know that this is not enough! The Rebbe told us that only a person who learns b’iyun is called a person who has accepted upon himself the yoke of Torah!
Please Merciful One, who cares for the lowly, have mercy on Your poor rebellious nation. Send us true and fitting tzaddikim who know how to do all of the necessary tikkunim.
End all illness and cancel all the decrees of death of Your merciful
children. Renew Your love for us as in the days of old. On this day of
Shavous when we shall sacrifice two goats, please atone for all of our
foolish actions, just as on Yom Kippur. Please let us hear again the 10
Commandments. Build the Beis HaMikdash, and we shall bring the oleh and zevachim sacrifices. Return Hashem to Tzion, and with it the Noam Elyon. Then, all base desires will be nullified and all bad character traits will be corrected.
B’Ohr P’nei HaMelech
“I (‘anochi’) am Hashem your G-d.” We don’t exist. We aren’t here. The only thing that really exists is I – ‘anochi.’ All of Judaism can be summed up in one word: ‘anochi.’ “I (‘anochi’) am Hashem your G-d.” When do we actually exist? It is only when we remember the ‘anochi.’ “I (‘anochi’) am the servant of Avraham,” (Bereishis 24:34) Eliezer said. I am from Avraham. I learned from him that nothing really exists.
I only have ‘anochi.’ I see “I am (‘anochi’) Hashem Your G-d” in front of my eyes. Only then are we really alive. We include ourselves in ‘anochi,’ when we want to bring down the light of ‘anochi’
into the world, when we want to represent G-dliness in the world, when
we want to do the will of Hashem. Only then is it impossible to say
that we are nothing. Then we are something awesome: we are the
messengers of ‘anochi’ in the world, messengers of Hashem. We do wondrous things as messengers of Hashem. We become part of the Eternal. “I am (‘anochi’) the servant of Avraham.” In what merit am I a servant? In the merit of having ‘anochi.’
“I, only I (‘anochi anochi’) am He who comforts you” (Yeshiah 51:12). This ‘anochi’,
this G-dly light, is what gives you strength. When you don’t have
strength to deal with anyone, when you don’t have strength even for
yourselves, when you start out and you don’t know how you will make it
through the rest of the day, then with ‘anochi’ you will have the strength. Everything that happens to you, know that it is all hints on how to draw closer to Hashem.
A person sees the creation in its beauty. The entire creation shouts at a person to come close to Hashem yisborach.
But a person doesn’t see it: he becomes overwhelmed by the difficulties
of life. Nothing exists. The world does not exist. It is only hints
about how to come close to Hashem yisborach.
Everything that happens to a person, all the difficulties and
disasters, and he can’t go on anymore. He has problem after problem,
financial difficulties, etc. All this things are here today and gone
tomorrow. They have no real existence. They have no reality. They are
not eternal. If you will only remember Hashem—‘anochi,’
then you will be consoled. You don’t need anything else. Hashem is
infinite and we are so small. But we are the members of a special
nation, the chosen nation, for whom the world was created, on this
foundation, that this special nation will reveal the G-dliness of
Hashem here in the world. It is for this that Hashem created the world.
Without us, there is no world. HaKodosh Baruch Hu
needs us for His purpose. We must always remember the wonderful and
magnificent attribute of our being His special nation which obligates
us to speak constantly to Him, to believe in Him and to cling to Him
and to be happy all the time. That Hashem will be our only consolation.
And we must know that HaKodosh Baruch Hu
is infinite and He has everything. He is not lacking anything, and He
can provide us with everything. The greatest thing of all things He
gave us and this is His G-dliness, the soul, this is what He placed
inside us, so that we will actually feel Him.
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