השיעור בסה"ק אור החיים
הנדבנית החשובה מרת
אסתר בת ליבא חיה
לעילוי נשמת הוריה היקרים
רב יוסף בן רב צבי הירש ז"ל
ליבא חיה בת רב דוד ז"ל
ולגזונט הצלחה ולפרנסה בריוח בנחת ובכשרות
[PERMANENT INTRO QUOTE] "The gates of heaven opened up and I saw G-dly visions, the Creator of the four corners of the earth, and I gazed and meditated upon that which I had permission to, and began to explain at the beginning of Hashem's holy words." Ohr haChaim Bereishis
PRAISES FOR THE HOLY OHR HACHAIM HAKADOSH
THE HOLIEST PLACE
It is said in the name of Rav Meir Abuchatzeira zatzal of Ashdod that he used to say that the holiest most sanctified where tefilos are answered is the tzion of the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh. Some say that the primary reason that Rav Yaakov Abuchaitzeira traveled to Eretz Yisroel was to daven by the tzion of the holy Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh. (Toldos Ohr HaChaim Intro.)
SPECIALIZING IN PESHAT
I should point out that the commentary of the Ohr HaChaim is one of those specific commentaries that through Divine Guidance and Hashgacha Pratis was printed together with the Chumash like the commentary of Rashi. Therefore it is more connected to the simple plain meaning or peshat of the text more than other commentaries which were printed on their own. (Toras Menachem by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson Zatzal of Lubavitch)
EVERY TIME A NEW TASTE
Reb Moshe Weiss Zatzal was a chassid affectionately known as Reb Moshe Batlan (because he was always learning and studying and batel from work). He was an expert in the Ohr HaChaim and was always studying it would and delve into the sefer constantly. He was so attached to the Ohr HaChaim that he knew it by heart and would often quote it verbatim. He would also teach from it often adding his own comments, novel insights and chiddushim. When asked why he did not gather his comments and chiddushim and print them as a commentary to the Ohr HaChaim he answered: "What can I do? Everytime I learn the sefer Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh I find a new flavor and taste and so the explanations are new and different each time as well! The Sefer Ohr HaChaim can be studied in the manner of Pardes – Peshat Remez Derush and Sod, simple straightforward meaning, hints and allusions, sermons and exegesis and the secret of Kabbalah. Therefore why should I write a sefer when next time I study the sefer I will understand in a whole new and different manner, and taste in it a brand new other ta'am?!" (Ner HaMaarvi 429)
THE HOLY LIGHTS OF THE OHR HACHAIM HAKADOSH – VAYECHI
YEHUDAH THE REDEEMER OF CAPTIVE SOULS TO ESTABLISH THE MONARCHY AND ROYAL DYNASTY OF BEIS DOVID
(49:9) Gur Aryeh Yehuda – Yehuda is like a lion cub:
The Ohr HaChaim gives the following introduction in which he sets about to explain this pasuk:
The first man, Adam HaRishon was like a tree whose many branches branched off in many directions. All holy souls that once came and will one day come from the side of kedusha are all branches from Adam's tree. When Adam sinned, the side of evil captured some of these holy souls. Tzadikim and Anshei Emes – men of truth in each generation seek out these captive souls to redeem them and save them from the clutches of evil. The holy nation of Yisrael, Am Hashem – G-d's people are constantly refining the world and daily trying to save these captives and redeem them. They do this using the holy source which Hashem planted within our nation, the Torah and Mitzvos. Sometimes when a holy soul becomes attached to an impure soul by force against her will, the holy soul can redeem the captive spark found in that impure soul as well, this is secret of why Shechem ben Chamor's soul cleaved in dveykus unto Dina bas Yaakov's soul (VaYishlach 33), because Dina's holy soul drew forth and pulled out the captive holy soul which was found in Shechem, our sages say (Arizal in these three sources: Likkutei Torah VaYishlach, Shaar HaGilgulim 36, Shaar HaPesukim VaYeitzeh) that this was the soul of Rav Chanina ben Tradiyon as is hinted in by the acrostic his name spells Rechavas as in the pasuk there that land is Rachavas Yadayim – the land is bountiful and expansive for you to settle.
Sometimes such a holy soul is born into the world in a foreign body, because the klippos and impure souls spawn so many numerous offspring and so such a holy soul can slip in there as well among their spawn and then the holy soul desires to walk on the path of good and righteousness, and this is the secret of the souls of the gerim and converts, who of their own volition come and convert desiring to attach themselves to the side of holiness. Sometimes the captor who holds such holy souls captive only allows them to go free if they are born into the world through sinful abhorrent unions, such as the holy soul of Rus who was from Moav, and the story of how Moav was born was an incestual sinful union as in the story of Lot. Notice how from Rus are descended the lineage of the kings of Malchus Beis Dovid and this comes from Moav who Chazal declare (Bava Kama 38b) that their sins were worse with more chuptza than Amon despite this greater sanctity comes from Moav. Now because Lot had greatness, his descendants were great, because even among evil and klippos there are levels of greatness each according to its stature. This can be seen clearly that among the nations there are royal families and pedigree of kings, some greater than others and some of lesser stature such as lords, dukes, barons and other lower castes and this demonstrates that there is a hierarchy even among the klippos.
Now our sages call these final days the heels of Meshiach – Akvisa DeMeshicha (Sotah 49b), the secret here is that we are constantly refining the gross material and releasing captive holy sparks and when the final refinements have all been accomplished we will have reached the end or heel. Chazal called this the ekev or heel because it is the end or extremity of man's limbs. So that in the past great souls were refined, freed and redeemed, such as our great patriarch and forefather Avraham Avinu the first righteous convert, and Sarah Imenu, Rus the Moabite, and in later generations the souls of Shamaya and Avtalyon and Onkelos the Ger. Now although today in our times we also have righteous converts, today's gerim are of a smaller stature than those great tzadikim, because we have reached the end, the final extremity, the heel or akev. All the refinements are coming to an end and conclusion.
Now based on this introduction you can understand why Hashem sent an angel who forced Yehudah against his will to be with Tamar (Bereishis Rabbah 84) because through such a sinful improper union which was against the Torah, and because Yehudah was forced against his will, and he did not recognize Tamar as his daughter in law, this created the ability to redeem the holy souls of Peretz and Zerach which were held captive by the forces of evil. And how many tzadikim and the entire royal house of malchus beis dovid were their descendants. Only Yehudah whose lineage was royal and whose destiny was to give birth to kings could redeem such lofty souls in such a manner. By such an evil act (done unconsciously and by force) he was able to enter the realm of evil and redeem captives from evil.This is what the pasuk means, says the Ohr HaChaim, before he lived with Tamar he was a Gur, a cub, afterwards he was uplifted to be an Areyh, a lion, because the souls he redeemed would rule as kings (like a lion is king). How did he merit this, asks the Ohr HaChaim? He answers that the continuation of the pasuk answers this question: Miteref Beni Alisa – from that Teref – from the prey that was captured and held captive which Yehudah redeemed, Alisa – he was uplifted to be the forefather of the royal dynasty of malchus beis dovid. These lofty holy souls were preyed upon and captured from Adam HaRishon's tree branches by the forces of evil after he sinned. Now through the story of Tamar you redeemed them, and thus you too are uplifted, because your descendants shall rule as kings and have royalty forevermore.