Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Siyum HaShas some thoughts

I was zoche to escort my Rebbe, The Clevelander of Raanana to yesterday's English Siyum HaShas in Jerusalem organized by Kollel Iyun HaDaf.

This gave me amazing front row seats (I kid you not as I actually sat behin him among all the chassuve Rabanim and Admorim on the dais!).

Well it was amazing to the see the achdus dancing in the crowd from this angle, (I was happy to dance with my good friend on stage the gabbai of the Trisker rebbe) and to be on the dais with some of today's greatest English speaking Gedolim and Rabbanim such as Rav Aharon Feldman, Rav Kushelvesky, The Pitsburger, Trisker, Bostoner, Boyaner, Monistritcher Rebbe (to name a few that I recognized and heard speak) and many many others no less great.

Here are some highlights from the Pittsburgher Rebbe's speech:

The Kesav Sofer in this week's parsha (Ekev) asks a question. The Tur teaches us that women light Shabbos candles because of Chava's hand in the sin of Adam, which caused death to be brought upon all manking. Thus she "extinguished the candle of the world!" Therefore women are commanded to light Shabbos candles which rectifies and atones for this. Well, asked the Kesav Sofer, at Har Sinai we are taught that they heard G-d speak and were cured of all ailments including death. Death only returned to them because of the sin of the golden calf. Who participated in Chet HaEgel? The men! So why are they not now obligated in lighting Shabbos candles instead of the women, since their sin caused death and they extinguished the "Nero Shel Olam - the light of the world?! (The Rebbe didnt mention this but the Kesav Sofer's answer is that their sin only reinstated the original punishment of death, the proof is that after Adam sinned he was punished with the curse of by the sweat of your brow shall you eat your bread, whereas after the sin of the calf klal Yisroel stil recieved Manna from Heaven)
The Rebbe gave his own marvelous novel answer - Ner Mitzvah veTorah Ohr - thus the men who are obligated in the mitzvah of Talmud Torah study the Torah they are constantly engaged and actively partcipating in the lighting of the Nero Shel Olam - the light of their Torah study lights the candle of the world and thus women and not men light Shabbos candles!

The Rebbe concluded with a powerful message of chizuk against things like unfiltered Internet and the myriad devices which he did not mention by name but called tools of destruction which pull us away from Torah study and devotion to Hashem. He encouraged us to eschew what our Rabbis forbade, he encouraged us to only use what the Rabbis permitted.

His message was well  received by a round of applause, I hope those of us using Internet heed his call. Filters, everyone they are an obligation, not just a good idea.

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