Friday, August 12, 2011

The Giving of the Torah During the Time of Moshiach קדושת לוי - שבת נחמו

בשבת נחמו קורין עשרת הדברות, ובשבועות קורין גם כן עשרת הדברות, כי בשבועות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא תורה לישראל, וכן כשיבא משיח צדקינו כתיב (ישעיה נא,ד) תורה חדשה מאתי תצא לכן קורין עשרת הדברות בשבת נחמו: קדושת לוי - שבת נחמו

The Giving of the Torah During the Time of Moshiach

On Shabbos Nachamu we read the ten commandments.
And on Shavous we also read the ten commandments. This is because on Shavous the Holy One gave the Torah to Bnei Yisroel. And similarly regarding when our righteous Moshiach arrives it is written that (Yeshaya 51:4; VaYikra Rabbah 13:3) "A new Torah will come forth from Me." Therefore we read the ten commandments on Shabbos Nachamu as well.

Tu BeAv

Remembering Our Father
"There were no other days as good for Bnei Yisroel as the the 15
th of Av and Yom Kippur." (Taanis 26b)

This can be explained based on the verse (Shemos 17:8) "Amalek came and battled Israel in Refidim." Before this it is written (ibid 17:7) "Is Hashem among us or not?"

This can be understood by the following parable:

A son was on his father's shoulders, he sicked the dog on him etc. (See Rashi ibid; Pesikta Rabbasi 13) "The parasha of Amalek follows the previous verse asking whether Hashem is among us or not? To teach us that Hashem says I am always among you and I am found ready to fulfill all of your needs and how can you ask if Hashem is among you or not? By your life! A dog shall come and bite you and you shall cry out to me and then you will know where I am! This can be compared to a parable a father went out on a journey with his son on his shoulders. If the son saw an object he desired he said father give me this thing and he would give it to him. This repeated itself a second and third time. They happened upon a man and the son asked him, have you seen my father? The father said to his son, don't you know where I am? He threw him off his shoulders, and a dog came and bit him."

We see that the father frighten his son in order to remind him that he has a father who can save him from that frightening thing. And as soon as he knows that he has a father then his father draws him close in many ways to demonstrate that closeness.

This is why this month is called Av – which means father, and why our temple was destroyed during this month, in order to remind us of our Father.l Once we recognize this fact and this knowledge will penetrate into us then the Holy One will rebuild the beis hamikdash.

The Gemara explains (ibid) regarding Tu BeAv that it is a time [of happiness since it is] when the tribes were allowed to intermarry. . . Study it at length.

. . . Each and every tribe has its own special way and path, (Pri Etz Chaim Shaar Tefillah). Down here below this is represented by a hue for each tribe as the colors of the precious stones found in the Choshen, the Kohen Gadol's breastplate. Each color of each stone represented the unique character of each tribe as is known. (Rabbeinu Bachaya Shemos 28:15)1 When all the ribes reach the level of self nullification and effacement known as Ayin then all the colors mix and intermingle together with eachother. Now when the Jewish people grasp the understanding that (though we are different and unique individuals) we all have one father, this is the meaning of [Tu BeAv being] a day when the tribes were allowed to intermarry. It alludes to what we explained.


1. The Rabbeinu Bachaya in his commentary to Shemos 28:15 explains that it is a Kabbalistic wonder how each one of the tribes was given a colored stone for the Choshen which matches their attribute up above. He then matches the stones and their colors to the attributes and characteristics of each tribe according to Kabbalah.

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Chassidus for 9 of Av (Tisha BeAv) & Eicha

From the upcoming English translation MeOros Kedushas Levi on Moadim
For Megillas Eicha and Tisha Be'Av

"She cries bitterly at night and her tear is on her cheek." (Eicha 1:2)
When a person cries his tears make an impression, and heaven forbid etc. And
truly regarding the destruction [of the bais ha'mikdash] when a person cries
then his crying makes an impression. This is the meaning of "her tear is on
her cheek," the tears leave an impression up above.

"Her enemies became the heads etc. Because Hashem spoke and afflicted her to
her due to her numerous transgressions. Her children gone into captivity
before the enemy." (Eicha 1:5)

This question which seems wondrous is why do foreign thoughts come to a
person while he is praying? The idea is that whatever has fallen
spiritually, through a person's sins and transgressions, now desires to be
uplifted especially during the service of prayer. This is the meaning of
"Her enemies became the head masters." The foreign thoughts which attack a
person's head and mind, "because Hashem spoke," this language connotes
speech, meaning that this refers to Hashem's words "because of her numerous
transgressions," this is above all sins, "her children walked, captured
before the enemy," these are now uplifted above the enemy. "Her children,"
refers to the sparks of holiness, "which walk captured before the enemy,"
they are above the enemy due to the word of Hashem.

"An lurking bear, a lion in hiding." (Eicha 3:10)

The general idea is that Hashem destroyed His beautiful house and we Bnei
Yisrael are now in exile. Surely this all a benefit to Bnei Yisrael, since
surely Hashem shall have greater and greater mercy on us and then He will
rebuild the bais mikdash with even greater strength. We find therefore that
although our current exile seems to be negative, however all things hidden
are revealed before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, that in reality all this is to
benefit Bnei Yisroel. "A lion in hiding," the lion symbolizes the attribute
of chessed or kindness (Zohar Chadash Yisro 39a) since he comes from the
right-hand side of the heavenly chariot in Yechezkel's vision (1:10) which
connotes chessed. This "in hiding," refers to the true intentions behind our
troubles and our distress. The exil and the destruction of the bais
hamikdash is truly just loving kindness and chesed for Bnei Yisrael, as we

"He shot into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver and I became a
laughing-stock for my nation." (Eicha 3:13-14)

Generally speaking the anguish and pain over the destruction of our bais
ha'mikdash will in the future, be revealed to be only chessed - kindness,
when HaKadosh Baruch Hu in His great mercy and kindness rebuilds with even
greater fierceness and strength.

We find therefore that this suffering and anguish gives birth to great joy
and happiness. The pain and suffering becomes a symbolic father who gives
birth to joy, and the joy and happiness itself becomes a symbolic child
which is born from the pain and suffering.

This is the meaning of "he shot into my kidneys" meaning Hashem placed into
my thoughts the memory to anticipate for salvation and happiness which will
come from this pain. This is is also the meaning of "bnei ashpaso," the
children which shall be born from this anguish and pain are the joy and
"bnei," literally means children. "Therefore I was a laughing stock before
the nations," once I uplift my thoughts towards laughter, joy and happiness
which shall be born from this pain and sufferings then I can "laugh at the

"And I said my eternal strength and expectations from Hashem are lost.
Remember my afflictions and sorrow. Wormwood and bitterness. . .This shall I
take to heart therefore I hope. Hashem's kindness surely has not ended, nor
are His mercies exhausted." (Eicha 3:18-22)

We should pay attention to the order of the verses, since it would have made
more sense to write I shall take to heart that Hashem's kindness surely has
not ended etc. and therefore I hope. Why does the mention of "therefore I
hope," which is the result and effect precede the cause which is the
"kindness of Hashem that has not ended?"

The reason which we call the Shabbos preceding Tisha Be'Av by the name
Shabbos Chazon, is due to something about Bnei Yisroel which is not
praiseworthy. Chazon refers to a vision, which shows the great reward of
goodness which is hidden and waiting for those who wage the great war and
conquest which with G-d's help, is fought by the Jewish souls that have been
sent into this world.

Since these souls are lovers of Hashem and their entire purpose is to serve
Him, before they are sent down into this world to wage that war they are
shown a vision of the hidden reward of goodness which awaits them.
However due to our numerous sin our enemies seek our destruction. However
when we remember our afflictions and sorrow and our soul remembers and grows
despondent, this proves that our victory and eternal strength and
expectations are not lost heaven forbid. For it is decreed that the dead
shall be forgotten by the heart (Pesachim 54b). And if there is no victory
up above without any expectation of its return that is the case. However
the living, are never forgotten.


Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
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