This website is an archive of Sichos Yisroel.
In this week’s parshah, Hakadosh Baruch Hu begins by talking to Moshe Rabbeinu and telling him “You shall command the Bnei Yisrael, and they should take for you, pure olive oil, crushed, for the lighting.” (Shemos 27:20)…Why when it’s talking about the olive oil for the menorah it says they should take ‘for YOU’?
In this week’s parshah the subject is Hashem telling Moshe to tell Klal Yisrael about the Yidden donating money and goods to the Mishkan. One of the keilim in the Mishkan was the Aron. It says regarding the Aron “you should make poles” that you put in the Aron (Shemos 25:13). Chazal say that refers to those who assist those who are involved in eisek haTorah.
Rav Yisrael Salanter is known as the father of the mussar movement. What was the nekudah that Rav Yisrael introduced to the world? What was he trying to accomplish? Was he trying to be mechazek people in a certain area of kiyum hamitzvos? The Chafez Chaim was famous for his sefer Shemiras Halashon.But his intention was not just that people should learn hilchos shemiras halashon. He was trying to get people to strengthen themselves in the fulfillment of the laws of shemiras halashon.
The subject we’d like to discuss today is an important one because many people pose the following question. The Torah says: I created an evil inclination, and I created Torah as its antidote (Kiddushin 30b). So that means to say that the antidote, the counterforce for the yetzer hara, is Torah.
The Torah relates that after Klal Yisrael came out of Mitzrayim, they witnessed the greatest historical event and the greatest revelation up to that point in the history of the world. They saw myriads of makkos, hundreds of makkos. They saw Hashem taking apart Mitzrayim brick by brick. They saw Hashem playing with the Mitzri’im. They saw krias Yam Suf. They were able to point with their finger and say זה קלי ואנוהו, “this is My God, and I will glorify Him” (Shemos 15:2). They saw ananei hakavod, clouds of glory.
At the end of Parshas Bo, there’s a very, very important and fundamental Ramban that describes how the principle beliefs of our emunah were revealed at the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim. Every single Yid must know what are the yesodos of our emunah. The term we as a yeshiva developed to remember what we believe in is: ח.י.ה.
There is a fellow in Eretz Yisrael who is the editor of the Hebrew Yated Ne’eman. His name is Yisrael Friedman. He was extremely close with Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman. He was in his house many times. One day, eighteen years before Rav Aharon Leib was niftar, the phone rings by Yisrael Friedman. He picks up the phone – it’s the rosh yeshivah. Rav Aharon Leib is calling. Rav Aharon Leib tells him, “I have to speak to you right now…”
Yesterday, we spoke about the power of the yetzer hara, where he comes and he challenges each and every one of us, and presents us with new things. He has innovations. He offers us opportunities for new, imaginary horizons. And people succumb to his tricks. He gets into our minds, and messes with us, and we fall for it hook, line, and sinker.
Today, I want to discuss an interesting question that was posed to me. It is something that I experience quite often when meeting people. The question is: “What is the level of Yiddishkeit, of frumkeit, of religion that Hashem expects of me? Does Hashem expect everybody to be committed to the same degree?” It would be very difficult to imagine that Hashem would expect from a little fellow from Chicago the same that He would want from a fellow from Lakewood or Meah Shearim