Excerpts from a lesson given by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit"a, 
delivered  on Rosh Hashanah, 5758.

       Rav Nosson said in Likutei Halachot, (Hoshanna Rabba 6:44) that Rosh  Hashanah is the aspect of the digging of wells by the Patriarchs. The Patriarchs would dig wells and, through this, would open the heavenly gates for an abundance to flow down. The year starts with an abundance of blessings; children, money, shidduchim etc. It is taught in the Gemara, (Moed Katan 18b) that forty days prior to the formation of the embryo, a Divine voice calls out, "so–and–so’s daughter to so–and–so, so–and–so’s field to so–and–so." Everything is prearranged for each person. Whether it is a shidduch, an apartment or whatever. It is just that there are obstacles that can only be sweetened through prayer. The year arrives together with tremendous barriers, the gates are locked with bars, and those gates have to be opened. And once they are, one merits to receive an abundance of mental awareness, specific to the new year, together with an abundance of money, etc. And the holy Patriarchs who were occupied with this, the digging of wells to open up the gates, brought down this abundance of mental awareness, material prosperity, etc. to the entire community that was with them, the thousands of converts they had converted. And how do we open the gates? Through these days of Rosh Hashanah, that we have three days of prayer (since, this year, Shabbos is also an aspect of Rosh Hashanah, as the Rav from Tcherin said, the Shabbos after Rosh Hashanah, i.e. when Rosh Hashanah falls out on Thursday and Friday and Shabbos is immediately after, is itself another Rosh Hashanah). Through focused and devoted prayer, one merits to receive all the abundance. Therefore, one must spend a long time over the prayers, particularly over the Shmone Esrei, as the Rabbis teach-- the most important part of the prayer is the words- G-D of Avraham, G-D of Itzchak etc. and that if one does not concentrate when saying these words, he has not fulfilled his obligation of saying the prayer. Rather than running from one place to another, searching for any kind of salvation, if a person would instead just stand and put his complete concentration into the Shmone Esrei, and dwell on the blessing "Bless this year for us...", he would receive all the money that he needs with ease. As we say in the evening prayer, “Who opens the gates… Who arranges the stars in their set watches in the heavens in accordance with His Will…’—that the evening prayer opens up the gates. And this happens every day. That every day comes with its abundance as well as its barriers, and the gates have to be opened. And the opening of the gates is accomplished through the evening prayer, specifically when it is recited in the proper time and with maximum concentration. The Rav strongly encouraged everyone to recite the evening prayer in its proper time (that it, as the stars come out), since, if a person delays, the gates are then closed and he loses out on all the abundance with should have come his way. And, rather than having to spend his time running around looking for help, if he would instead stand and say the evening prayer on time and with proper concentration, he would receive all his needs with ease. 
         This is comparable to what the Rambam said (Hilchos Lulav) regarding dancing—that if a person sees others dancing and doesn't join in, he is a fool and a sinner. A fool, that he loses out on all the abundance and sweetening of judgments that he could have attained by dancing, and a sinner, that he is arrogant before Hashem and acts as though he is unwilling to humble himself and dance for Hashem’s honor. Delaying the evening prayer is just like that, that a person can, in his foolishness, lose out on all the abundance that  would have been coming to him (how much more so, if he delays past midnight—for then he is actually called a willful sinner). So too, he must recite the evening prayer in its proper time and, through this, all the gates of the new day are opened and he receives all his spiritual and physical needs. If he needs children, or sustenance… Since Hashem  “changes the periods, exchanges the times, and arranges the stars…”, He arranges the constellations so that if a person is under a certain astrological sign which would mean that children or sustenance are not due to him, by reciting the evening prayer in its proper time, with focused attention, Hashem shifts the star that is part of his sign from one place to another. So it was with Avraham Avinu—“Who awakened Jupiter from the east?” (Shabbos 156b)—Hashem took Jupiter, which was part of Avraham Avinu’s astrological array, and moved it from east to west.  And so, the year comes with all types of abundance (and it will be a shameful embarrassment if all the young men don't find their true match during the coming year, or that all the women who haven't yet had children will not have conceived, etc. For if not, it's as if we've defrauded the words of Rebbe Nachman, since he promised every kind of good to those who come to him for Rosh Hashanah.) Particularly since we've come to such a Tzaddik who has all of the keys in his hands, and he promised this, and a Tzaddik doesn't promise unless he has the ability to uphold it. It's only that our Rebbe wants a little regret from us, just a sincere thought of repentance, a tear. Because the truth is, that even if we lived a million years, we would never be able to repent completely for one sin (Chaye Moharan 304). It's just that our Rebbe repents for us, but even so, we still need some regret, a tear…Through this, we make a vessel to receive all the abundance of the new year and open the gates to draw down all the flows of abundance.
         The Rav spoke about blemishing the Covenant, that one has to cry over this very much at Rebbe Nachman’s grave site. Before the sin of Adam, Adam and Chava shone like the sun.  They were literally two suns, so much so that they could not even look at each other. After the sin of Adam, the light that enclothed them ran away and disappeared, and instead, they received a covering of the skin of the snake. And so, when one looks at a woman, instead of seeing the holy spark that is inside her, he sees only the skin of the snake. It is permitted only to look at one's close relatives, that is, his wife, sister, and daughter. It is permitted for a man to see the Diving spark in them, that is, to hear words of Torah from them. A person has to know that all his desires are from the serpent that is inside of him. At Rebbe Nachman’s grave, a man can feel this and vomit everything out…And the Rav said that that is how it will be until the Resurrection of the Dead, that one will still have to flee from looking at any woman. The Rav brought from the Maharal that the entire effort and desire of the yetzer hara is to kill a person.
         The Rav spoke about the Maharal, that he was very great, that he appeared to Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Peshischa as he was prostrate on the Maharal’s grave. Rebbe Simcha Bunim then saw his greatness and chose him to be is Rebbe—the Maharal was the “Rebbe without a body” of Rebbe Simcha Bunim.  His physical Rebbe was the Yehudi HaKadosh, and Reb Simcha Bunim said that every person must have a Rebbe with a body, and one without a body.
         The Rav also spoke about the blessing to Yitzchak, that the Torah doesn't recount Avraham Avinu blessing Yitzchak, only that Hashem blessed him. Avraham wanted to bless Yitzchak but saw that Esav would come from him, and feared that the blessing would fall to Esav. Even though Esav acted “for the sake of Heaven” by killing Nimrod who had thrown his grandfather into the fiery furnace, Avraham still did not want to see this at all, and died on the same day (Bereishis 25:30, Rashi). Because, in truth, Esav simply burned with blood lust, and was only seeking a way to let it out. The Rav said, may Hashem have mercy, there is a type of person who burns with the desire to beat someone, he just looks for the opportunity. After this he spoke about the blessing of Yitzchak. That, in truth, Yitzchak certainly knew that Yaakov was the tzaddik, and Esav the wicked one, and that he certainly wanted to bless Yaakov. He just did not know how to bless him. For Yaakov Avinu, the well would roll before him, the well of Miriam was always with him. If so, what use would he have for the blessing of  “From the dew of Heaven…”? He had the well of Miriam, to which nothing else could compare. Rav Chayim Vital merited to drink from it and, through that, learned all of the wisdom from the Arizal—today, no matter how much you learn his works, you cannot understand them properly. (He spoke further about Miriam’s well, that it constantly moves through the Kinneret, that a person who prays very much, can merit to immerse in it, and drink from it.) Afterward, Yitzchak looked at Yaakov’s children—perhaps they might need his blessing. At that point, Yitzchak saw Bilam who came to curse Yisrael and said that maybe they might need his blessing to counteract the curses of Bilam. He saw, though, that Bilam would ultimately bless them with the most wondrous  blessings—“They stretch out like streams, like gardens by the river…”, that all of the Land of Israel would be streams of water, etc. If so, there is no need to bless him, “From the dew of Heaven…” Yitzchak looked further to the First Temple and saw again that there is no need for his blessing.  Zechariya the Prophet would bless them, “In those days, living waters will go out from Yerushalayim—half to the ancient sea, and half to the last sea.” That the well of Miriam would flow from the Holy of Holies and wash over the Land in a river so mighty that no boat could sail in it, and sweeten the Dead Sea (the “ancient sea”) and the Mediterranean (the “last sea”). From there, it would spread out and all the world's oceans would be sweetened. (The Rav said that today we see that the need for water is greater than that which is available on the planet, and no one knows where we will get water from in the future. The answer is, that the well of Miriam will suffice for the whole world.) So Yitzchak again saw that there is no need for his blessing.
    Afterward, he looked further into the time of the Second Temple and saw that, there too, his blessing was unneeded, since there would be great warriors then who would fulfill, “…one will cause a thousand to flee…”. He saw that a small number of people would kill Titus’ mercenaries by the thousands until the general despaired of ever conquering Yerushalayim and decided to return home. It was only when Titus saw blood seeping out from under the city's gates (there were three bands of zealots who were fighting over who should lead—they killed each other, and innocent civilians, by the thousands. The Rav said, regarding this, that a person can want to be “the head” and fight for it, but the main thing is that a person should have a head.) Once Titus saw this, he returned to the siege and said, if so, certainly Hashem won't help you… Although Yitzchak Avinu did not see a need to bless Yaakov, Rivka saw that Yaakov would stand in need of this blessing. She saw that there would be later, weaker generations like ours who aren't careful to guard their eyes, that don't guard their thoughts, that don't merit to learn Torah properly. For them, the blessing of Yitzchak is needed. And in the merit of opening the gates of the new year through praying with devotion and sincere regret, let us merit the complete redemption, speedily and in our days.

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Home Lessons given by  the Rav HaRav Levi Itzchak Bender, zt"l.