Parshas Ci Sisa


“And everyone removed the gold rings that were in their ears, and they brought them to Aharon” (32:3)


   “A woman who fears Hashem, she is to be praised” (Mishlei 31:30). A woman has fear of Hashem. A woman has more fear of Hashem than a man, as we see, the women didn’t participate in the sin of the golden calf, and neither did they participate in the sin of the spies. The reason for this is, the moment that the women accepted upon themselves the 10 Commandments, the moment that they accepted the yoke of Torah and mitzvos, nothing in the world could move them. Nothing can discourage them—no argument, no persuading. The faith of women is much stronger than the faith of men. The holy Zohar says of the sin of the golden calf that Yonius and Yombros, the sons of the evil Bilaam, convinced Am Yisrael that Moshe would never return. If he went up to heaven and hasn’t returned yet, then they would need to make a calf, and do a new coronation with magic and sorcery. They said that with this calf they could conquer nations, and this is how they would conquer the Land of Israel . They went to Aharon HaKohen and said to him, “Come. Let’s make a calf.” What did Aharon do? How did he take care of them? He said, “Go to the women. Bring me their nose rings. Tell them that Aharon commanded us to make a calf.” Aharon knew that the women would never agree to make a calf—he understood what a woman was! If she heard “Do shall not recognize the g-ds of others in my presence” (Shemos 20:3) just once, nothing could influence her otherwise. No one could make her budge on this. This is the nature of the woman: once she heard a particular precept, a commandment of the Torah, then nothing in the world can influence her otherwise. When they came to the women, every man shouted at his wife, “What? You don’t believe in what Aharon HaKohen said? Don’t you have any faith in tzaddikim? You don’t believe in the tzaddik? The tzaddik said to make a calf. Where is your faith?” Every woman answered her husband, “Come, let’s go to Aharon HaKohen. Let’s argue with Aharon. What do you mean ‘he said to make a calf?’ After hearing such a commandment, ‘You will not recognize…’ From one end of the world to the other, in 70 languages—not even a bird chirped nor a cow mooed while this command was being given. What do you mean ‘Aharon told me.’ Do you think that Aharon can change one of the commandments?” The holy Zohar says about “The entire nation removed…,” what does it mean ‘they removed’? The women weren’t going to take of their nose rings under any circumstances! They grabbed the women’ noses, and then it says “and they removed.” This is similar to “smashing mountains and breaking rocks” (Kings I 19:11). Just like a person can be smashed, they broke their noses, they ripped their noses. Then they ripped off the jewelry from their noses and cut up their fingers with their rings on them, because when men get some crazy idea into their heads chas v’shalom and want to make a calf—Hashem have mercy. But the women remain firm in their simplicity, in their modesty and righteousness, and nothing can budge them in their faith—nothing in the whole world! The Tanna D’vei Eliahu says that there is no difference between a man and a woman—no difference. A woman can be a prophetess; she can be Devora the prophetess, Miriam the prophetess. The Tanna D’vei Eliahu says: I swear by heaven and earth that anyone can merit to see the holy Shechina, whether a man or a woman, without exception. The holy Zohar says that there are palaces in heaven, some of which merited to be named after righteous women. There is a palace called Basya bas Pharaoh. Thousands of women rejoice there, and give over chidushei Torah every day. There is a palace of Serach bas Asher who entered to Gan Eden with her body, the palace of Yocheved, the palace of Devora the prophetess. All the generation’s righteous women go up to these palaces. Each woman goes to the appropriate palace, which is according to her deeds. And there are innumerable palaces—a great many righteous women from every generation. Each woman builds a palace above with her yearnings and longings for mitzvos, like Devora the prophetess whose longings and intentions were solely for the sake of promoting and glorifying Torah. Devora made torches, large candles, in order that talmidei chachamim would be able to sit the whole night studying Torah without having the candle go out in the middle of the night. She didn’t use inferior wicks, wax or oil, but everything so that the light of the candle would be the brightest: she used the best wax and the best oil in order that it should be the strongest light possible. It never once happened that the light suddenly went out in the middle of the night and they needed to shut their holy Gemaras, chas v’shalom. The candles always burned until sunrise. HaKadosh Baruch Hu said to Devora, “You intended to increase my light in Yehuda and Jerusalem, so will I increase your light in Yehuda and Jerusalem.” He gave her prophecy. He gave her such perception and understanding that she was worthy of becoming a Judge, as the Chida says (Rosh David, parshas Beshalach) that were revealed to her all the chidushim, all the hilchos dayanim. All the halachos were revealed to her. The Zohar says in parshas Mishpatim “v’taasher Devora.” “V’taasher” is the screen of the altar. Devora merited offering herself like a sacrifice to Hashem Yisborach. “And there was a screen under the cornice of the altar.” She was the aspect of the screen of the altar. The word t’aasher has the same letters as the word for screen, reshet. Women are the aspect of the altar. Every woman is this aspect of the altar because, in truth, they sacrifice themselves to Hashem Yisborach. They literally sacrifice themselves. They raise the children—they take care of 10 children. The mothers do everything and are dedicated to their children, feeding them, giving them to drink, praising them, and doing all this with such mesirus nefesh. They sacrifice themselves to Hashem Yisborach, and this is why they can be prophetesses.

   What is the meaning of the word Beis? The beis is the Mishkan. Mishkan ((מ'ש'כ'ן', is the initial letters (מיטה שולחן כסא נורה) Bed, Table, Chair, Light. The wife cleans the home, raises the children, the house is filled with books of Torah, the children learn Torah. Her husband is able to sit and learn. She cleans the house, lights the candles, cooks and prepares the food and in this way she builds the Mishkan. By fulfilling her duties and obligations she can literally achieve the level of prophecy.

   “And these are the ordinances that you shall place before them” (Shemos 21:1). All the laws of the Torah apply equally to men and women (Rashi). A woman, like a man, is obligated to follow the laws including prohibitions like “Do not steal” and “Do not murder.” A woman is forbidden to speak lashon hara. If she does all the mitzvos properly, eats three meals on Shabbos plus melava malka, not speaking lashon hara, not speaking nonsense, etc., then she can become a prophetess even greater than the men. A woman is exempt from learning Gemara, but she is not exempt from attaching herself to Hashem. From this she gets no exemption. She can be attached to Hashem also when she is cleaning the house, cooking, and washing dishes etc. The wife of Rebbe Yitzhak Derobitzer (the mother of Rebbe Michel from Zlotshov) was heard saying “Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh” while in the midst of sweeping the house. Her husband asked her, “Why are you saying ‘Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh’?” She answered, “I was listening to the singing of the angels. The angels are right now saying kedusha.”

   When Rebbe Moshe Leib from Sasov became blind, they asked him what had caused it. He answered, “Because of my spouse have I become blind. She is always saying ‘l’kavod Shabbos, l’kavod Shabbos.’ When she is kneading the dough or cooking, she says, ‘l’kavod Shabbos.’ With each time that she says ‘l’kavod Shabbos’ an angel is created. Each time ‘l’kavod Shabbas’ is said angels are created. Then the whole house was aflame. The whole house was full of angels, and I was blinded by the great light!”

   If a woman will fulfill her role as a woman, doing her job faithfully, with dedication, with joy, with awe and reverence, and for the sake of Hashem, then the most menial tasks can become the gateway to prophecy.  



   Master of the World, You can do everything. Nothing is beyond your abilities. Let me be like the Children of Israel at the time of the Giving of the Torah, when everyone shouted in unison “We will do and we will hear.” The filth of the snake was removed from them, and they merited hearing the 10 Commandments clearly. Help me also to merit hearing at each moment the 10 Commandments as they heard it, as it is written, ‘in a loud voice which was unending—the voice does not stop for any moment. And I should merit being among the tzaddikim and tziddkanios that hear the 10 Commandments each and every second. And I should not forget the memory of the Giving of the Torah for even a second, as it is written, “Remember the day that you stood before Hashem your G-d in Horev.” And the name of Hashem should remain before my eyes always, as it is written, “The name of Hashem is before me always.”


 B’Ohr Pnei HaMelech

   We come from holy seed. We are children of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, and we are continuing their path. We don’t look to the sides. We are here to work. However, it is forbidden for a person to become depressed and punish himself because of this. Everything needs to be done with joy and song. The moment a person becomes depressed, at that very same moment, HaKadosh Baruch Hu abandons him—in a second. Even if the reason that he is depressed is because he has cut himself off from Hashem. Even if it’s only because he is not successful or because he fell into sin, even so, Hashem immediately abandons him. Why are you sad? Have you forgotten about Me? I am with you, so why are you depressed? Don’t you see Me? If you don’t see Me, then I can’t see you. The minute that you become depressed, you lose your connection with Hashem. So a person must, at that very same moment begin anew, to start being happy, even if it’s just a show. Joy is infinite. It is the greatest light there is. There is no sadness and depression if you are with Hashem. Strength and hope are in His place. A person needs to fear sadness more than anything else, and he needs to use any means however artificial—opening his mouth and singing or making funny faces to amuse himself—it doesn’t matter what, just that he shouldn’t get depressed. I sinned; I did stupid things; I made a fool of myself. My wife made fun of me. The children laughed at me. These things are not important; everything is just a test. It’s not really the truth. Really, nothing is important. The G-dly soul is wondrous. Hashem doesn’t give up on anyone. I only need to be happy, and with all my strength to connect myself to Hashem—with the circumstances that I find myself in, with the family that I have, as they are, in every situation, with all my tests—because everything that is to be found here that makes me sad is really something that doesn’t actually exist. The only thing that counts is my connection to Hashem. And this connection is created from happiness. So there is really no point in being depressed about something that doesn’t even exist. My only obligation is to be happy with the one thing that really does exist, and that is the connection to Hashem.  



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