Excerpts from a lesson given by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit"a, Parshas Beshalach.

     The Rav began by reading from the introduction to the story of  The Seven Beggars: “There was once a king who had an only son. He decided to give over to his son the kingship during his lifetime, and when he did this he made a great celebration, and there was great rejoicing there. There were all sorts of entertainment (literally, simcha) at the ball, such as bands, comedians, and the like; everything was there at the ball. When the rejoicing reached its peak, the king stood up and said to his son, ‘I am an expert in astrology, and I see that you are destined to lose your kingdom. When you lose power, be careful not to become depressed; you must remain joyful.’” Notwithstanding all the rough passages and failures, it is still forbidden to be depressed. “If you are happy, then I will also be happy. But if you become sad, then I will still be happy—because you are no longer king. If you are not able to remain happy when you lose your royal power, then you are not fit to be a king. But if you do manage to remain happy, then I will be extremely happy.” If you will remain happy even when you lose your kingdom, you will cause me to feel such deep satisfaction (nachas ruach) that I will be extremely happy. 
   Everything that happens in the world comes from joy. Always, in any situation, one must just be joyful, just to sing to Hashem. The entire creation of the universe was only because Hashem saw that, in the future, Israel would sing to Him at the splitting of the sea. “The king’s son took over the kingdom… The king’s son was very wise, and he loved wisdom very much.” With wisdom there is always a great danger. “He surrounded himself with great sages…And since everyone was immersed only in theoretical studies, that land forgot the art of war.” The art of war is prayer; they abandoned the service of prayer. The more people immerse themselves in mental gymnastics, the more likely they are to forget about prayer. A person who is involved in science is in danger of losing his ability to pray. For this, one needs the special tools of humility and self-abnegation, in order that such study shouldn’t damage his prayer. “The people of that land all became great sages… but the very wisest men and the king himself eventually became atheists. Nevertheless, the king’s son had a spark of good in him. He had been born with a spark of good, and he had a good nature. Whenever he contemplated his situation, and realized what he was doing…he would moan and sigh because he had fallen into such confused beliefs, into such error. He would moan and sigh very much.” 
   Becoming an atheist didn’t help him. Every Jew has an inner point of faith that continually re–awakens, and doesn’t let him rest. Even the most wicked person has this point; Esav also had thoughts of repentance. “He even considered converting to Judaism,” as it says in Midrash Rabbah (Parshas Toldos 67:13). What, in his case, does conversion mean? Surely he was the son of Yitzchak Avinu! Rather, it means that he had decided to go and learn in the yeshiva of Shem and Ever, to learn Torah there. Why, then, did this not come to be? Only because he kept pushing it off until the next day, “I’ll go tomorrow.” So his re-awakening came to nothing. 
   The three biggest heretics who lived in Uman, at the time Rabbi Nachman lived there, and who were very attached to him, had pledged never to mention G-d’s Name out loud, so that they shouldn’t become confused and fall into doubts that perhaps G-d really does exist. [It appears as though the Rav is meaning to show here that heretics don’t feel entirely at ease with their heresy, since they fear that perhaps they will change their minds. He goes on to discuss this at length, as he says here that one of the three, Hirsch Ber, eventually did admit the existence of G-d, and ultimately repented completely.] Hirsch Ber said, Every time I go into the Rebbe, I feel as though I’m being pulled by my coat-tails and being told, “Hirsch Ber, there is a G-d in the world.” He was one of the advisors of the Czar of Russia, and one time received a golden sword from him as a gift. He was so moved by Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom that he said to him, "If the previous Czar, Peter the Great, who was very wise, were still alive, he would have removed his crown from his own head and placed it on his (Rebbe Nachman’s.) But this present Czar is a fool." Ultimately, a letter from the present Czar reached Rebbe Nachman, inviting him for an audience, but the letter arrived after the Rebbe had already passed away. 
   In the end, this same Hirsch Ber repented completely and became a complete Tzaddik. He traveled to London and died there. Recently, his grave was discovered. I have a book at home from someone who collected the words of all the Zionist leaders, all sorts of expressions of their regret at the end of their lives, and how they admitted the truth. This isn’t mere rumor; he brings things that are official, with accreditation and photographs. He brings there a letter that Bialik had sent to Achad HaAm. He wrote to him, "I’m already sick of this false secularism. I feel a desire for some truth, to go to a synagogue and put on a tallis and tefillin." Achad HaAm answered him that he, too, was thinking along the same lines. “If you really want to do it, you should go ahead and do it.” Achad HaAm was already old by then; he was twenty years older than Bialik. He was the comrade of the founders and leaders of Zionism. He had been together with Hertzl until they parted ways after a disagreement. Because of it, Achad HaAm left Israel and went to be an administrator of  Wisotzky (Tea company). The manager of the tea factory was a gentile by the name of Wisotzky who was childless. After his death, the ownership of the factory passed to Achad HaAm; he inherited it. From the profits that remained from it, he built a school in Haifa which he named Wisotzky, after that man. 
   I once traveled with my father-in-law, and on the way he told me a story about Moshe Sneh, the head of Mapam. When Moshe Sneh died, he requested in his will that during the first year they should say Tehillim and learn Mishnayos for him. His family and friends were in shock—it was a real blow for them that Moshe Sneh should make such a request. Also Meir Vilner, the founder and head of the Communist Party--Shimon Bergstein, who went to meet him in my stead, told me this--he wanted to meet with me about the trips to Uman, and I sent Shimon Bergstein on my behalf. During the meeting, in the middle of the conversation, he complained to him about Adin Steinsaltz. Why hadn’t Steinsaltz invited him to the opening of the first yeshiva in Moscow? “He couldn’t invite me? I’m also a Jew. I also learned in yeshiva. I know what a yeshiva bochur is.” 
   They know what a yeshiva bachur is, what kind of intelligence a yeshiva bachur has. Once, a yeshiva bachur wrote a beautiful poem in rhyming verse to Czar Nikolai. This poem appealed to Nikolai very much and he wanted to see the young man who had composed it. He sent a letter inviting him to the palace so that he could meet him. The “Enlighteners” met together about this—it bothered them that the Czar should meet with a yeshiva bachur. They knew that any yeshiva bachur is ten times smarter than the most learned professor of theirs. Only a yeshiva bochur has the intellectual facility to delve into things and pick them apart. They feared that if the Czar would see a yeshiva bochur, that he would toss them out and take yeshiva bochurim instead. So they laid in wait for him, and when he came to the city, they grabbed him and began to subvert him to their way. They explained to him that it is inappropriate to go to the imperial palace as he was dressed, to meet with the Czar in a hat and long coat and long peyos. He listened to them and cut his peyos a bit. In this way, they slowly convinced him until he cut his peyos off completely, threw away his hat, and shortened his jacket until he looked just like one of them. At that point, they sent him to the Czar. Nikolai took one look at him and said, “What? This is a yeshiva bochur? You are just an ignoramus, you can go. I have enough gadabouts like you—I wanted to see a yeshiva bochur for once.” 
   Meir Vilner said to him, “I know what a yeshiva bochur is, I too learned in yeshiva.” He told him that what had driven him away from Judaism was that once, in his town, a poor man had died and there was no one to pay for the burial. The Burial Society didn’t want to bury him because of this, and this had broken him so much that he fled from Yiddishkeit completely. One must sometimes know what drives a person away. A yeshiva bochur like Leibele Trotsky—if his cheder Rebbe hadn’t beaten him half to death, we might have prevented a Trotsky, and the world wouldn’t have lost a Chazon Ish. He had such a mind, he could have reached the level of the Chazon Ish. 
   When I was thirteen years old, my mother decided to give me a room of my own. We lived in a house with only two rooms. So my parents and two of the children squeezed into one room, and they gave me the second room. It is tremendously important for every child to have his own room, his own corner. It aids so much his development. I had that room for three and a half years, until I was sixteen years old when I decided to go and learn in yeshiva. When my parents heard this, they didn’t know what to do. Naturally, they sat shiva over me and followed all the laws of mourning. In the street, people spoke about me, how I had killed the mother who had done so much for me. It was only after some years that she thanked me. So when I left for yeshiva, this room remained empty, and they started to rent out the room. It was set up in such a way so that it was possible to rent it out, it was separate from the house. They rented it to a French couple, and whenever I would come home from the yeshiva, the husband would speak to me. He would tell me stories, and show an interest in what I had learned in yeshiva. Once he told me about himself, that he had grown up in Nice where there was a college. A special university for robbery. They gave special courses there, all the tricks of the trade—how to rob, how to break into banks, postgraduate courses in that field. One could receive a degree and a diploma there. Someone who had passed the courses successfully would receive a doctorate in robbery—all in accordance with how successful he had been, BA, CM… So he told about himself, “I was a spoiled child, I was bored, I didn’t have anything to do. So I also went to learn in that college. Once, the Zionists from the Jewish Agency came to the city and they propagandized to get people to make aliyah. I was a young boy at the time, and I was very inspired by the idea of traveling to Israel.” At least they had one thing going for them: they convinced people to immigrate to Israel. “They were leftists from a leftist kibbutz. I dropped everything and immigrated with them to Israel. They took me with them to a kibbutz near Nahariya, it is an HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz. Every day, I would go out to work with the counselor. One day, he went out with me as usual, and the entire way I felt such a silence, everything was quiet—no bird flew, no bird chirped—total silence. Just like at the giving of the Torah—no bird flew, no bird chirped. I didn’t understand. ‘What is this?’ I asked the counselor. ‘Tell me what today is, that it is so silent.’ The counselor then answered me, ‘You don’t know? Today is Yom Kippur.’ When I heard the words Yom Kippur, a shudder went through me. I turned around right away and I began to run back to my room. I went into the room and I started to cry. How did I desecrate Yom Kippur? I cried and cried until sunset.” A Jew hears the words Yom Kippur and he shudders, even if he knows nothing about it. 
   Some years after this, there actually was a robbery in Nice. It was one of the greatest robberies of the last century. They dug a tunnel underneath a bank. They began to dig two hundred meters away from the bank, in the guise of telephone workers, with the special clothes and insignia of the telephone company. You pass in the street and see that Bezek is digging—who checks to see who sent them? Nowadays, there are already cellular phones that transmit via satellite, from above. Once upon a time, two thousand years ago, they were primitive. They spoke through the telephone and had to lay wires under the ground. So they dug a tunnel, and within a few hours, they were already under the bank. The floor is made out of cement panels that are flush against one another. They brought a special machine with them that moves the panels. It doesn’t do anything, everything remains the way it was—the ceiling, the walls—just the panels move a little bit. In this way, they passed through into the bank and emptied all the safes without setting off any alarms and without any noise. The next day, in the morning, the managers and workers of the bank came in and just fainted. The entire bank was empty. There were savings there of fifty years, and nothing was left. Everything was gone. 
   Every Jew is a believer. There is no such thing as a Jew that has no faith. And if you see someone who talks as though he has no faith, it is, at most, that he is trying to keep up an appearance of not having any faith. He is trying to convince us that we should believe that he has no faith, but at his core, he knows that he does indeed have faith. All his efforts to convince himself that he has no faith won’t help him, because it is impossible to uproot the point of faith. Rebbe Nachman said (Likutei Moharan 274) that were a person to succeed in uprooting the point of faith within himself, he will die on the same day. Rebbe Nachman explains that, when the wicked try to uproot the point of faith from themselves, it is because they have a great evil inclination, and the point of faith is getting in their way. They don’t fully enjoy sinning, it always awakens doubts in their minds over and over again. As much as they try to think that they have managed to uproot their faith, doubts that they might still have faith return to them every time. This afflicts their conscience and causes them fear. 
   The difference between us and them is not the point of faith, for all of us have faith. On the contrary, they have
an even greater point of faith, it is just that they also have a greater evil inclination and that is the difference. They have a greater evil inclination, and instead of fighting against this evil inclination, they try to uproot the point of faith that frustrates the will of the evil inclination. That is why they fight against it, and speak heretically. They think that this will help them. Rebbe Nachman says that if, Heaven forbid, someone actually does manage to uproot the point of faith from himself, on that very day he will die. Then he will again see the truth and uncover the point of faith. 
   Every Jew has faith, everyone fasts on Yom Kippur, and a wedding is like Yom Kippur. In fact, it is even higher than Yom Kippur. As the Degel Machane Efrayim says in Parshas Bo, the sins of the groom and all those who accompany him are forgiven. And this is also the giving of the Torah, as the Gemara says in Brachos. And this already begins from this Shabbos, at the calling up to the Torah. When the groom is called up to the Torah, he ascends Mount Sinai. Reb Nosson says this in Likutei Halachos (Mincha 7:93) and the Klausenberger says it in Parshas Bo. This is also in Parshas Bo—everyone is talking about weddings in Parshas Bo. He explains the idea that Hashem held the mountain over Israel like a barrel at the giving of the Torah. This is the concept of a Chuppah, that the Chuppah is the means of legal acquisition, and the Jewish people were then acquired by Hashem. This is one of the five acquisitions that Hashem acquired—the Jewish people are one of them (Avos 6:10). This is why Hashem uprooted a mountain whose perimeter was as broad as the camp of Israel and raised it above their heads. All of the Jewish people, the entire six hundred thousand, stood beneath that wedding canopy. 
   The Chasam Sofer says that on the day of the wedding, the groom is the Tzaddik of the generation. In the book, Kol Rina Vi’Yeshua Bi’Ohalei Tzaddikim, the compiler gathers together many pieces on the subject of weddings. He brings there in the name of the Beis Yisrael, that on the day of the wedding, the groom receives super-human powers, and with these powers he is able to overcome all of his base desires. That is why the time of the Chuppah is the most auspicious time for prayer for anyone who stands there. The entire duration of the ceremony, including the time that the bride circles the groom, and all the other delays that are part of the ceremony, are particularly auspicious for prayer. One can take advantage at this time to bring about miraculous salvation by praying then for all that one needs. It is possible to achieve everything—to cause the infertile to conceive, to heal the sick--the Chuppah is such a moment that even the wicked Esav received a thought of repentance and wanted to convert. At his own Chuppa, Esav considered converting, but because he pushed off the thought of repentance for the following day, he lost it. By the next day, everything was already gone. 
   The Heichal HaBracha says (Toldos 145b) that, at his root, Esav was a thousand times greater than Yaakov, and if he had been worthy, he would have risen even higher than Moshe Rabbenu and David HaMelech. He would have merited the level of Moshiach, of Yechida of Atzilut. He could have merited to have been the Moshiach if he had repented at that time. As the Zohar says in Parshas Chayei Sara (p.129), one who repents merits in one moment what Avraham Avinu spent one hundred and seventy-five years achieving, and David HaMelech seventy years. One who repents does this in a single moment. If Esav would have truly repented, in that very moment he would have surpassed David HaMelech, for both of them were from the same root. It isn’t for nothing that Esav’s head is buried in Ma’aras HaMachpela. We find the term “admoni” (red) referring to only two people in all of scripture—David and Esav. The word “admoni” actually appears three times; once in reference to Esav, and twice in reference to David. Aside from this, you won’t find the word “admoni” again in all of scripture, only in reference to these two. This is because the two of them were from the same root, which is why Yitzchak misjudged him and wanted to bless him. He thought that Esav was David HaMelech. Both Yitzchak Avinu and Shmuel the Prophet made the same mistake. Each thought about the one, that he was the other. Yitzchak thought that Esav is David, and Shmuel the prophet thought that David is Esav. He didn’t want to anoint him as king until Hashem told him, get up and anoint him, for this is he. Shmuel the Prophet said, this one even spills blood like Esav. 
   And what really is the difference between David and Esav? The Midrash says (Bereshis Rabbah, Parshas Toldos 63:8) that, in truth, both did kill. It was just that Esav did it on his own authority, and David at the behest of the Sanhedrin. David did nothing without consulting with the Sanhedrin. [See also in the Heichal HaBeracha mentioned before, at the beginning, where he brings this difference between them.] Esav was satisfied that taking along one other person would make it all right. This is because a gentile can be put to death through the agency of a single witness and a single judge. One witness and one judge is sufficient. Hashem made it this way for a particular reason, that they should require both a witness and a judge, so that people should not kill on their own authority. Esav really killed wicked people, but he would go out alone. He didn’t want to take anyone else with him, because when two go together, the matter becomes clarified and perhaps it will become clear through the presence of the second one, that the person really didn't have to be killed. In any case, if he were to have taken someone else with him, Esav would have then had to split the booty with him, for he would kill them and rob them of their money. Esav didn’t want partners, he wanted all the loot for himself. Therefore, he would go alone, quietly, so that no one should bother him. 
   When Esav killed Nimrod, he said that he was taking vengeance for his grandfather, Avraham, who Nimrod had thrown into the fiery furnace—he posed as being "zealous for the sake of Hashem." Yitzchak Avinu was pleased with this, but Avraham Avinu didn’t want to see it—he left this world an hour before the murder. [See Rashi on Toldos 25:30 on the words, “from this red”, and Rashi preceding it on verse 29 on the words, “and he was tired.”] He knew that this was not truly zealousness for Hashem’s sake, as the way in which Pinchas was zealous for the sake of Heaven. By Esav, it was murder for the sake of murdering, robbing and stealing. He murdered Nimrod to steal the “desirable garments” from him, but in the end, they were stolen from him. 
   And the children struggled together within her.” (Bereishis 25:22) This one was trying to crush the brain of the other, and the other was trying to crush the brain of the first. There is another interpretation of the word as “running,” that when she passed by a synagogue, Yaakov kicked to come out, and when she passed by a place of idol worship, Esav kicked to get out (Rashi). Rav Yehonason Eibeshitz says about this, that if Esav really wanted to get out, why didn’t he? [This question doesn’t apply to Yaakov. Either because Esav was situated so that he would emerge first, thereby blocking Yaakov’s exit, or because Yaakov did not want to harm his mother by emerging prematurely, something with which Esav was unconcerned. No one, though, was preventing Esav from emerging straight away. He did, in fact, do this even though he was born at term, as the Midrash Tanchuma, Parshas Ki Teitzei 6 relates.] Though he potentially could have emerged, Esav remained inside, because hounding Yaakov was more preferable to him even than  to going to worship idols. 
   Another interpretation is that they were fighting over the inheritance of two worlds. Esav wanted this world, and Yaakov wanted the next world—so what was their argument? Esav should take this world, and Yaakov the next. This was, however, an ideological argument, “fighting over the inheritance of two worlds.” Each one claimed that he would merit both worlds. Esav claimed, “You’ll see. I’ll have both this world, and the next. I’ll have this world because I’ll murder and rob other murderers and robbers, those who are liable to the death penalty. So certainly I’ll have this world. And I’ll also have the next world, because I will be able to argue that, all in all, I murdered those who were anyway liable to the death penalty. But you won’t have this world or the next world. You won’t have this world because, if you won’t murder and rob, what kind of a this-worldly existence will you have? And you won’t have the next world either because, in any case, you won’t manage to hold fast, to sit and learn and serve Hashem.” Esav said to him, “I have much” (Bereishis 33:9). The Arizal says that “have” (“yesh”) is the numerical equivalent of three times the numerical value of the word “calf” (“egel”). Esav meant to say to him, “I see that your children are going to make three calves.” They saw everything, even that which would occur generations later. Yaakov, however, argued, “On the contrary. I will have both the next world and this world. Because I sit and learn, I will have the next world, notwithstanding all that I will go through and the falls that will come. And the fact that I serve Hashem will make me worthy of having this world too.” As he says, “I have everything” (Bereishis 33:11). 
   In truth, this came to pass with Yaakov. As it says, “And the man increased exceedingly" (Bereishis 30:43). It says in reference to Iyov, “and his cattle is increased in the land” (Iyov 1:10). What was the case with Iyov also was the case with Yaakov, that the rams [were so large that they] brought bears home on their horns. (Bereshis Rabbah 73:11, and Bava Basra 15b.) Ultimately, he gave all of his possessions to Esav in exchange for Ma’aras HaMachpela. So, with his, “for I have everything” he answered him, “The calves that my children will make in the future will only be because of your influence. But you, Esav, won’t have this world or the next. Obviously, you won’t have the next world, but you won’t even have this world. They’ll also steal everything from you.” Esav didn’t have anywhere to hide his “desirable garments,” other than at his mother’s house. He was afraid to keep them in his own house because his wives would steal them. His wives were twice the thieves that he was. In the end, his hiding place was not safe anyway, and his mother also stole them from him. 
   So the groom, now, with his aliyah to the Torah, has ascended to Mount Sinai. And this is precisely on Shabbos Shira, that we read in the song the verse, “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance. In the place, Hashem, which You have made for Yourself to dwell in; in the sanctuary, Hashem, which Your hands have established” (Shemos 15:17). This verse speaks about the building of the Temple, and a wedding is both the giving of the Torah and the building of the Temple. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says (Brachos 6b) that someone who takes part in the wedding feast, and gladdens the groom, merits the Torah which was given with five “voices.” This is the giving of the Torah. Rabbi Nachman bar Yitzchak says, it is as though he built up one of the ruins of Yerushalayim. The Midrash Moshe explains that “one of the ruins of Yerushalayim” means the Temple. The wedding is the building of the Temple. 
   The Zohar (Pinchas 221a) explains that this verse refers to the two Temples. “The place, Hashem, which You have made for Yourself to dwell in” alludes to the first Temple, and “the sanctuary, Hashem, which Your hands have established” alludes to the second Temple. The Zohar relates that once, a gentile philosopher came to Rabbi Eliezer and said to him, “I want to ask you three questions. First, why do you say that a third Temple will be built? Behold, the prophet Chaggai calls the second Temple 'This Last House.' As he says, 'The glory of this last House will be greater than that of the former' (Chaggai 2:9)." 
   The Second Temple was much less glorious than the First. The First Temple was entirely of gold, and the second was made of wood. At the building of the Second Temple, there were still elders alive from the previous generation who had seen the first Temple seventy years earlier. Someone who is ninety years old when the Second Temple was built was twenty years old when the First Temple was destroyed. And someone who was eighty years old, was then a child of ten years. They still remembered the first Temple and they cried over the great decline of the Second Temple in relation to the first. As it is described in the book of Ezra (3:13), they cried so much that from the noise of their crying, they were unable to hear the joyful shouts of those who had never seen the first Temple and who rejoiced over the building of the second. All this was at the beginning, but during the final days of the Second Temple, it was already plated with gold. Even the ceiling was made of gold. If they had been worthy, this Temple would have remained to be the final Temple. It was only because of all the sins that were done then that they did not merit this. There were factions of zealots that were killing one another, as Josephus describes at length, and it was because of this that the second Temple was destroyed. 
   So that was the first question. How can you say that there will be a third Temple? The second question that the gentile philosopher asked Rabbi Eliezer was, “How can you say that you are the closest ones to Hashem, and that Hashem loves you? What do we see—the very opposite! You are the most hounded and persecuted people of all. And we, on the other hand, live the good life. This is a sign that we are, in fact, close to Hashem and that He loves us. That is why He gives us all manner of good.” The third question he asked was, “You say that you don’t eat carcasses and carrion for reasons of health. On the contrary, we who do eat carcasses and carrion are healthy and have strong constitutions. You who do not are weak and sickly.” This gentile ended off by saying, “I don’t want to hear an answer from you to any of these questions, for you have no answers. You will start to tell me now all kinds of farfetched excuses. I don’t want to hear it.” Rabbi Eliezer saw that this was indeed the case. He raised his eyes to him, he looked at him, and reduced him to a heap of bones. Not one heap, but three heaps—one for each question. Apparently, he had laser beams for eyes, and with them, he finished him off. 
   After his anger cooled off and he calmed down from this gentile, he started to think, what really are the answers to these questions? Then he began to cry, because he wanted to know what the answers were. While he was crying, Eliyahu the prophet appeared to him. He said, “Why are you crying over these questions? At this very moment, in Heaven, these questions were asked, in the Heavenly Academy to Hashem Himself. Because it was asked in Heaven, the questions arose in the mind of that gentile, and he asked the questions here. Apparently, he had some sort of a receiver that he could hear what was going on in Heaven. And Hashem answered that we can learn from this verse, “The glory of this last House will be greater than that of the former,” that the former can mean either the first or the second, but the last is the eternal Temple. Also, the verse, “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance. In the place, Hashem, which You have made for Yourself to dwell in; in the sanctuary, Hashem, which Your hands have established” refers to neither the first nor the second Temples. The entire verse refers to the eternal Temple that will last forever. 
   The Zohar says that the original plan was that as soon as the Jewish people left Egypt and crossed the sea, that they should immediately enter into the Land of Israel and build the Temple. That very day should have seen the prophecy of  “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance” fulfilled. The clouds of glory were waiting for them on the other side of the sea, and as soon as they crossed, they were to travel with the clouds  “on the wings of eagles” to the Land of Israel. This idea is in accordance with the words of the holy Sifri. [Sifri Devarim, piska 2: As soon as the soles of their feet would have come up from the sea, they would have entered into the Land. As it says, “Go up and possess it, as the G-d of your fathers has told you” (Devarim 1:21).] They had already merited a similar aspect, “Eleven days from Chorev” (Devarim 1:2), that they had experienced a miraculous shortening of their journey (Rashi). 
   At the splitting of the sea, the Jewish people reached a higher level than the prophets. “This is my G–d and I will exalt him” (Shemos 15:2, see Rashi). They merited to see Hashem face to face, as we say when the Torah scroll is taken out, “for they will see eye to eye, Hashem returning to Tzion” (Yeshayahu 52:8). Eye to eye. A handmaid at the sea saw that which Yechezkel ben Buzi never saw. As the Pelach HaRimon says, Yechezkel saw the world of Yetzira, and Yeshayahu saw the world of Briya, but the Jewish people at the splitting of the sea saw into the world of Atzilut. All sixty myriad with the women and the children, all of them ascended to the world of Atzilut. This is the song that they sang: it was a prophecy. Everyone said the same words—they weren’t reading from a script that had been printed out for them. They didn’t have any computers to print things out. Everyone received the prophecy of the song, and because they were at such an exalted level, they would have been fit to enter into the Land of Israel immediately. If not for their doubts and their worries about Moshe, as they said, “Just as we are coming up on this side, so too the Egyptians are coming up on the other side,“ they would have been worthy of entering into the Land together with Moshe Rabbenu. (Rashi, Shemos 14:30, Pesachim 118b). This was still before the sin of the golden calf, and the sin of the spies. Moshe would then have built the Temple that would never have been destroyed, and brought the immediate Resurrection of the Dead, and the world would have been completely rectified. 
   But because Moshe did not enter into the Land,  Shlomo HaMelech was the one to build the Temple. He managed to bring Rachel together with Zeir Anpin at the level of Keter facing Chochmah; that the Keter of Rachel was already at the level of Chochmah of Zeir Anpin. If he had only raised Rachel another little bit, that her Keter would be facing his Keter, he would have merited the complete rectification. But because he married the daughter of Pharoh, he lost this. At that point, Gavriel descended and drove a reed into the sea, around which developed the great city of Rome. (Shabbos 56b; Rashi, Melachim 3:3 and Yirmiyahu 32:31). On the day that the Temple was built, he married the daughter of Pharoh. Scripture says about this, “For this has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My fury from the day they built it” (Yirmiyahu 32:31). [This was said as part of Yirmiyahu’s prophecy of the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Temple.] The Romans caused the Kasdim to destroy the first Temple, and they themselves destroyed the second. In the second Temple, five things were already missing, as the Gemara in Yoma 21b describes. This shows us about the state of Rachel during the period of the second Temple, that she was missing five sefirot from that which she had during the first Temple period. She was then at the point of Keter opposite Tiferet; that her Keter only reached to face Tiferet of Zeir Anpin, and she was missing the five sefirot of Chochmah, Binah, Da’at, Chessed, and Gevurah. Shlomo’s mistake was that he attempted reach out beyond his level. He thought that he already had the strength to bring people who were from outside closer, and that he would succeed at bringing even the daughter of Pharoh close. He was not satisfied with working within his own milieu. 
   This is what the Zohar says—that which they said in the song “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance. In the place, Hashem, which You have made for Yourself to dwell in; in the sanctuary, Hashem, which Your hands have established” that the two Temples were planned along the lines of the final Temple. It alone will incorporate two structures. There will be a Temple of stone which everyone will be able to see, and surrounding the Temple of stone will be a Temple of fire (which only the Tzaddikim will be worthy of seeing). It was regarding this Temple that they spoke, and about it was written, “The glory of this last house will be greater than that of the former.” This has not yet come to be. This Temple has not yet been (for the two Temples that stood until now were only of stone and not of fire), and when this Temple will be built, it will never be destroyed. The Zohar says (Parshas Pikudei 240b) that nothing was destroyed of the first two Temples either. No stone was burnt, everything still stands in its place. Anyone who places something called "foch" into his eyes, that the Kabbalists know of, can see the Temple; they see how everything is standing in its place. In the ultimate future, everyone will merit to see this, and the prophecy of “for they will see eye to eye, Hashem returning to Tzion” will be fulfilled. 
   This is the concept of the bride and groom. She is the structure of stone, and he is the structure of fire that surrounds the structure of stone. Just as the Zohar says, the wife is the altar, and the husband is the flame that burns on the altar. [The altar is made of stone. See Rashi, Shemos 20:22 on the verse, “And if you will make Me an altar of stone."] The groom must make himself worthy of such a flame, as it said of Rabbi Chiya, “In the place where there is a burning fire, what do you need with the one who bears a bellows?” (Bava Metzia 85b). When Reish Lakish wanted to prostrate himself at the grave of Rabbi Chiya in Tiberias, which is near the grave of Rabbi Akiva, he was unable to find the gravesite. He was told from Heaven, that he wasn’t worthy to go to the grave of Rabbi Chiya. The Gemara relates, “Rabbi Chaviva said… I once saw one of the Rabbis to whom Eliyahu would come. I saw him one morning and his eyes looked fine, but that evening, they looked as though they had been burned by a fire. I said to him, ‘What is this?’ And he said to me, ‘I said to Eliyahu: Show me the Rabbis as they ascend to the Heavenly Academy.” Show me the souls of the Tzaddikim when they ascend from the yeshiva of Metat to the yeshiva of Hashem. Hashem has a yeshiva where they merit to hear Torah from the mouth of Hashem Himself. “He said to me: You can look at all of them except for the chariot of Rabbi Chiya.” So he then asked him, “By what sign do you know them?” How will I know which is the chariot of Rabbi Chiya so that I shouldn’t look at it? Tell me the signs. So he answered him, "When you see a chariot that ascends by itself, without any accompanying angels, you will know that it is the chariot of Rabbi Chiya and you should not look at it…With all of them went angels when they ascended and descended, except for the chariot of Rabbi Chiya, that ascended and descended by itself.” This student relates, “‘I wasn’t able to hold myself back, and I peeked at the chariot of Rabbi Chiya.’ Two sparks of fire came and burned the eyes of that man. ‘The next day, I went to pray at his grave.’” He cried before him, “Have mercy on me in the merit of my learning your teachings.” He was then healed. 
   The Eitz Chayim (Gate 28, chapters 1 and 4) explains that this is the esoteric meaning of the verse, “Behold the mighty ones will cry outside; ambassadors of peace will weep bitterly” (Yeshayahu 33:7). The angels are permitted to be in the proximity of regular Tzaddikim, for the angels serve them and through this become worthy of ascent. But there are certain Tzaddikim like Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and Rabbi Chiya who embody such a fire that even the angels do not have the strength to stand in their presence. The angels cry over this, that they are unable to be close to them, and this is, “Behold the mighty ones will cry outside; ambassadors of peace will weep bitterly.” The mighty ones and the ambassadors of peace also cry over this. 
   Thank G-d, we merited to have such a groom, like a real burning flame. His heart is totally on fire for Hashem, a Temple of fire. As Rebbe Nachman says in Likutei Moharan 49, the light of the burning of the groom’s heart burns endlessly. So too, does the bride's. Rebbe Nachman says that she is the techeiles that finishes everything and destroys everything—the proper bride destroys the Sitra Achra. Rebbe Nachman says in this lesson, that the groom ascends to Atika, where there is no left side. Atika is the single merciful eye. Eye to eye. “for they will see eye to eye, Hashem returning to Tzion.” There, everything is the right side, there is no left. When the groom is worthy of having no left side to him, it means that he doesn’t want anything but Hashem. 
   Rebbe Nachman says that this is why they throw money at the wedding. To show that they are throwing away the money, throwing away all the lusts. The groom will now enter the kollel to learn. In the meantime, checks are not being given out in the yeshiva, there are no salaries. The groom doesn’t need money. What does he need money for? He needs, all in all, to eat a piece of bread and to drink water. This will be enough for you. Your father-in-law, also your own father, will be ready to give this to you. Every time, you can go to eat either by my son, or by your father. What do you need more than this? I also lived in a little house, on Rashbam street. There wasn’t room for anything there; that house was a mess. Nachman Galinski once said to me, "I don’t come to your house, because it is impossible to enter such a house." Now that, at last, I have a house that it is possible to enter, the only people that come to visit me are the police and investigators. 
   Only trouble comes from having money. The Tanna Di’Bei Eliyahu Rabbah 5:12 says about Yaakov that he blamed all of his troubles on the fact that he had enjoyed a benefit from the wealth of Lavan. People work to make a profit, but if the money is even a little bit not kosher, it only brings trouble. Yaakov Avinu didn’t work for Lavan for the money. “In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night” (Bereishis 31:40). He did not do that for the money—he did it to serve Hashem (Midrash Rabbah, VaYeitzei 74:11). On the contrary, Lavan would steal everything from him. It was only the angels who worked for him who would bring the sheep back to him (Rashi, Bereishis 31:10). Even so, when Yosef was lost, “Yaakov suspected, ‘Perhaps I enjoyed a benefit from the money of Lavan and of Shechem, and so Hashem nullified the covenant He had made with me, and all these troubles came upon me because of that?’” In the end, he gave all this money to Esav; he did not want to enjoy a benefit from it (Rashi Bereishis 50:5) 
   Money from a non–kosher source also causes spiritual trouble, not only physical trouble. As Rebbe Nachman says in Likutei Moharan II:15, about non-kosher money, that it can damage unification, blessing, and holiness. It ruins the unifications, ruins blessing, and ruins holiness. Rebbe Nachman says there that false spiritual leaders are Heaven-sent, so that all the non-kosher charity money will go to them, in order that it should not, Heaven forbid, reach, [and thereby damage] the Tzaddik. This is why we see that there are benefactors for all sorts of yeshivas; some big donor comes and gives a hundred thousand dollars at one shot, half a million dollars. Here, in this yeshiva, where they get up every night for chatzos, and do hisbodedus in the fields, they have to fight to collect every penny. No big donor comes forward, because only kosher money is allowed to come here.

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