Korach 5783: The Key to Getting Rid of Jealousy

לעילוי יצחק מאיר בן לב בלוי

Consider sponsoring a shiur
Visit YTATorah.org

Shiur presented in 5780

Also see Part 2: Lecha Dodi In A New Light

Dealing With Jealousy

In the past, we have spoken about a massive problem, a challenge the people have with kinah, jealousy, and with sinah, hatred.  Today, we would like to discuss the ways and means to deal with these issues.  If you think about it, it is really a pachad how much kinah and sinah good individuals have and suffer from – even righteous people, chashuve people.  I once heard of a story about two big tzadikim who had a sichsuch (argument) between them, and each one had tainos on the other.  One of them was a very sharp, big talmid chacham, who wrote a letter to the other one asking him, “Do you know how many words there are in Shas? Do you know how to count how many words there are in Sifra? Could you count the words in the Sifri, or in Mechilta, or do you know how to count all the letters in Rashi? If not, do yourself a favor, go the ‘other way,’ don’t start up with me, because you are not fit to argue with me.”  The other tzaddik wrote him back, “You are right – I can’t count the letters in Shas, nor in Sifri or any of the other sefarim. But it seems that one thing I do know more than you, and that is, וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּוֹם וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל לְבָבֶךָ כִּי ה’ הוּא הָאֱלֹקים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת אֵין עוֹד (Devarim 4:39), and I suspect that your honor does know about this piece of information.”  There is such a thing. So how does one begin to work on that? And the answer is anytime you have a tainah (complaint) on someone that’s an indication that you are lacking in emunah and bitachon.

You have to know that the Gemara (Yoma 38b) says, אין אדם נוגע במוכן לחבירו ואין מלכות נוגעת בחברתה אפי’ כמלא נימא – No person may touch that which is prepared for another, and one reign does not overlap with another even a hairbreadth. No one in the world can impose upon your territory. Everybody in the world thinks that somebody is imposing upon him: his neighbors, his bosses, his employees, his friends, etc. A person is convinced of that.  What he has to do is to mechazek (strengthen) himself in this emunah. But not just to know it, he has to feel it in his kishkes

“Rebbi, You’ve Got to Keep Me Out of Jail”

Right now, I’m going through a challenge. A few years ago, a student of mine showed up here. We went outside to talk, and he told me he’s in a very tight spot. He got caught with credit cards (the cards were not his, but belonged to a nice yungerman). So this talmid of mine ran up this yungerman’s bills to $1,000,000 and he cannot pay it and they’re coming after that yungerman. And that yungerman said, “These were not his charges. This guy stole my cards. I never gave anybody permission to run up a bill that high.” They checked into it, and saw it wasn’t his charge. Finally, after going back and forth and trying to do all kinds of shtick, he my talmid made a settlement with the credit card company for $400,000 and if he came up with it in two weeks, he would stay out of jail. Otherwise, they will go after him and prosecute him for the entire $1,000,000. So he started to plead with me that I should help get him the money.  He said, “Please, Rebbi, can you get me the money?” He first tried for $400,000 and then he said he only needed $200,000 because he borrowed the other $200,000 from some other company at 29% interest and the rest they won’t give to him.  He said to me, “Rebbi, you have to keep me out of jail! That yungerman is going to fall apart if I don’t pay him.” He begged and begged me, and he said that he needed the money for just two weeks, and in two weeks he’ll get me the money, and if not he’ll borrow the money. I said, “Could I trust you?” He said, “Did I ever not do what I told you I would do? Have you not done me enough favors and I’ve always been honest and upfront?” So I made a joke and said, “Well, there’s always a first time.” And he said, “No Rebbi, I would never do this to you.” The famous last words.

Two weeks came – I got him the money. I said, “These are the 200 big ones and I am treating it like it’s a shavah pruta. He said, “Rebbi, you don’t have to do anything. It’s just two weeks, it is going to turn around very fast.” The guy is a ganav. I did not hear from the guy after two weeks.  I haven’t heard from him for 3 to 4 weeks, after chasing after the guy and looking for the guy. After a few months, he called me up and said, “I’m going to start paying you $1,000 a month.” I said, “$1,000 a month – are you crazy? I’m going to be tied to you for the next 200 months! Are you crazy? It’s going to be ad mea v’esrim.” He said, “Don’t worry, I am going to make payments.”  He made one payment, two payments, three payments – then, like everything else, it stopped. Then I tell him,  “Listen, please pay everything back. I am your rebbi, for Heaven’s sake, are you going to steal from your rebbi?!”

The Final Shtick

A year went by, two years went by. Finally, one day he calls me back  and says, “Rebbi, I have to pay you back – it’s time. I can’t tell you all the why’s. Something happened to me, and I’ve got a message. I better pay you up. I said, “It’s on my heart and I’m very hurt that you would do this to me.” He said, “I’m taking care of it. I’m making one payment today and one payment in two weeks.” I told him, “Please don’t say the words ‘in two weeks’ to me! These words get on my nerves!” Anyway he made one payment. The second payment he never made. I chased him, I hounded him, I went to his friend who told me, “He’s not paying you. Forget about it. It’s a lot of money and he doesn’t want to pay you.” Anyway, he calls me up one day, “Let’s go to Beis Din.” I said, “Ok, but what’s the case?” He said let’s pick a Rov. He gave me a Rov who was 30 years old. I said, “It’s hard for me to go to a guy who’s 30 years old. He’s not necessarily a competent and established dayan. I want to work with someone who is older than me, who’s known beyond any questions, that no one says he does shtick, he’s a straight shooter.” I got the name of someone. I called up a dayan and asked him, “Could you give a name of someone who is above any reproach?” He gave me the name of someone. I called my talmid, “Are you ready to go?” He agreed. A couple days go by and he says to me that he’s bringing his lawyer. I said, “Why are you bringing a lawyer? When you come to ask a Rov if you missed יַעֲלֶה וְיָבֹא you don’t bring a lawyer. If you are bringing a lawyer that means you are looking for trouble!” I called another dayan and asked him, “Does this make any sense to you?” He told me it didn’t make any sense to him. The talmid told me that he was looking for a טוען – somebody to make a claim for him, to which I said to him, “We’re not arguing about the facts here!” So he said to me, “I don’t want you to be take advantage of me.” I said, “Excuse me? There’s only one person who was taken advantage of, and that’s me. I’m the victim here! But now you’re saying you’re the victim. What in the world are you talking about?!” Somebody told me that the judge that I picked is a straight shooter and the טוען that he picked will not be able to blow the judge over. And the talmid said to me, “Please don’t tell anybody about this. I don’t want this to get out.” I said to him, “You are a ganav. You are stealing money from me and you are not owning up to it.”

It’s All From Hashem

This is a classic case of a guy ripping you off, victimizing you. If you did him such a tovah – by giving him such a large loan – you would think that the guy would owe you some gratitude for that alone, besides a thousand other things that he owes you his life for. You have to know this is entirely from Hashem. I’m not angry at the guy. I’m just surprised what Hashem has up “His Sleeve” and how He can create a situation where a guy can rob you and say, “I’m afraid to go to court with you – I don’t want to be taken advantage of by you.”  Can you imagine that?! And the yeitzer hora is trying to take advantage of the situation. I told him, “Your best friend told me that you were never going to pay me back!” You know what he told me? “Oh, he’s a liar!” “Oh, and you are an honest person?” He says, “Did I ever lie to you?” I said, “Excuse me? What are you talking about?! Once you started there was no stopping.” What a person has to know is that such a thing has absolutely nothing to do with this person – he is just a shliach. I have bitachon that the money will come back. Hashem wants to test me, just to see if I believe. Now, you have to know that the more somebody owes you, the more you are “into somebody,” the harder it is to believe that it’s from Hashem. It has to be this guy, there’s nobody else! Hashem will never orchestrate such a thing; He would never stoop so low. Maybe if an Antifa guy comes out from the woods or a couple of these BLM guys come out from the woods and rub you, then I can see how someone will think it’s from Hashem. But when it happens from a person who’s so close to you, how can it be from Hashem?! No, rabbosai – it’s all Hashem. Are you allowed to have any sinah for such a person? No.  I don’t care if a guy is living up high on the hog. I’m not allowed to have any sinah to him in this situation. I understand – it’s a tough order.

Do you know how many people think that you can have hatred for such a person? Do you know how many fights there are over inheritance that I have been involved with? One brother got more, one sister got less. Yerushah (inheritance) cases are one of the most complex and difficult situations to deal with. I know two very fine fellows, very fine men. Their older brothers managed to get their father’s yerushah. They took it all, they’re living a high life and they left the younger brothers out to dry. I told them many times, “It has nothing to do with your brothers. Hashem said that your father’s yerushah was not destined for you.” They said, “But we were close to our father, we respected our father.” I said, “I understand, but Hashem knows best and for some reason you did not deserve it. That’s what happens. You are going to be full of tainos (complaints) because you have no emunah and bitachon.”

Don’t Be Afraid of Paper Tigers

I’ll tell you a recent story.  A fellow calls me before Shabbos. A very nice fellow, a fine young man. He works in a business for his relative. This guy is not a “Mister Fighter,” he’s a soft guy who tries his best. He doesn’t scream at anybody, he doesn’t shout at anybody, he doesn’t curse at anybody. He’s a fine person. You see, a lot of times, even when nice people become bosses, they lose themselves and they start to think that they are g-d. They start to play Hashem: they curse at people, they shout at people, and they put people down. So this fellow is working for a relative – who is the boss of this business – and he has no qualms about acting like an animal. Every time this young man sees his relative is calling, he knows he’s going to get cursed by his relative. “What kind of business are you running over there?! Why are you paying this guy so much?! Why are you being taken advantage of?! Why are you doing this? Why are you making this mistake?!” One time, somebody made a mistake in the order and this boss went berserk! It was only a mistake. Human beings make mistakes. They corrected it and fixed it. But it didn’t matter.  So this young man called me up and said, “I cannot take it anymore.” I said to him, “I’m going to give you an eitza on how to defang this fellow and get him off your back. The first thing I want you to do is to say over and over and over again that this person has no power over you whatsoever, only Hashem is in charge and the only One who can put any pressure on you is Hashem! This relative of yours, who you’re working for,  could never do anything to you – he has no power over you, either to do good or do bad to you. Convince yourself of that. The next time you see his phone number on your phone – instead of getting heart palpitations (which he does any time he sees his number) – bring yourself to the awareness that Hashem is the only One who can put pressure on you and nobody else. And at that moment, you will know it’s over with, it’s gone, it’s history!”

He called me up today. He says to me, “Rebbi, do you want to hear a moiredike maiseh? This week was my first big payroll. The workers worked long hours and there was a very big payroll. I know from previous experiences that every time payroll came around, my boss always lost it, but this time, I was 100% ready for him. I was working on this for a couple of days. I called him to tell him what the payroll was, i.e., this is what the numbers are. Rebbi, in the past, every single time it’s bam! This time, before I got on the phone, I said: ‘Hashem, it’s only You, it’s only You! No one else can do anything to me.’ So my relative listened to the numbers and then told me, ‘Okay, have a nice day.’ He did ask me to quote him some payroll numbers before that, and I told him all the numbers, and that was it, Rebbi! It’s amazing!” I said to him, “You see what it is when you realize that it is from Hakodosh Boruch Hu?!”  But if you believe that a person could do wrong to you, then you are going to fight with your mother, with your father, and you will never get to this realization because you will always attribute all the minor and major mishaps to people or situations, but not Hashem.

Emotional Abuse of the Highest Level… From a Mother!

I knew a fellow who was extremely abused by his mother. I consider this young man a super tzaddik.  His mother never called him by his name, she only called him “mamzer” –  that’s what  she called him!  Isn’t that a nice name?!  It was an abuse of the worst kind! When the guy told me his story once, after a Shabbos meal, I pashut burst out crying!  It was one terrible thing she did after another. I couldn’t just say, “Well maybe this one wasn’t that bad.” No, it wasn’t just, “you are not so smart” or “you are buffoon,” etc. We are talking about terrible, awful things! Dibbur, ma’asheh, machshavah. I told the guy, “I don’t know how you exist.” I just simply started crying. My wife came into the room and asked, “What’s going on here?! It’s not Tisha B’av!” I said, “Yes, this is Tisha B’av that fell on Shabbos.” She didn’t understand. I told her that I would explain later.  This guy did not have a tainah against his mother because he told me it was from a Hashem!  I said to him, “You know, you cannot be such a big ba’al bitachon and ba’al emunah.” He told me that he learnt it from me. “You taught it to me,”  he said. “After I got connected with you, I understood that every single thing was from Hashem.” He had no complaints about her. I remember on her birthday he called and wished her a Happy B’Day! I said to him, “What did you wish for her? I’d like to ‘wish’ her something also. Hand over the phone!” I couldn’t believe it. “Why would you wish her a happy birthday?! This person messed your life up, you suffered for 19 years!?” “No, it’s all from Hashem.” Can you imagine that? No complaints! He welcomes her into their home, he accepts her. A very special neshamah, a very special level of emunah. Nobody could do anything to you unless Hashem decrees it. And we all get tested with this.

Why is Hashem called “Keil Emunah”?

You know, Hashem is called “Keil Emunah” – isn’t that an interesting name for Hashem? Keil is midas HaChessed. Hashem is Keil according to the measure of emunah that you have! It’s not one Keil Emunah. He’s Keil according to the emunah that you have in Him. According to the degree of emunah that and you will have – to that degree, Hashem will be your Keil. So if you believe that your shidduchim  are messed up because someone messed you over, or because of some other narishkeit, Hashem will treat you like that. It says, וכל מעשהו באמונה – “All His actions are with Emunah” (Tehillim 33:4). This means that Hashem runs the world according to the measure of emunah that people have. So it’s in your hands! A person has to really give this the utmost consideration. Everyone has a friend, or a cousin, or a shver on whom they rely, but you have to realize that this is not the way to go. The point is you have to get to that Emunah, where you understand that everything is from Hashem – from your shidduch, to your parnassah, to a mean word that someone utters to you – even from your closest family member! 

What Pushed Korach Over the Top?

Korach’s jealousy blinded him. He really believed that Moshe Rabbeinu chose his other cousin for this position that overpassed him?! Didn’t he really know that Hashem runs the world?! He did, of course, but I will tell you what he thought. What did he think? He was a pikeach! You have to be shoteh to believe that Moshe Rabbeinu could choose his cousin over Korach! So he pashut hated Moshe, which then caused him to hate Hashem, r”l! Mema nafshach (either way you look at it) – if he thought that Hashem appointed Moshe’s cousin, he should have accepted it, and if he thought it was Moshe who appointed him, he should have been angry just at Moshe and not at Hashem!  Why was he koifer in Moshe and Hashem?! That’s a great kasha. And I will tell you the answer. Listen closely. Miriam spoke against Moshe. You know what she said? “Moshe left his wife. He thinks he’s something special, that he’s a big prophet. But Hashem also spoke to us! Hashem spoke to you, Aharon. Did Hashem tell you to leave your wife, Aharon? No one told me to leave my husband either.” What’s the peshat in all of this? Didn’t she know that Moshe did not do anything that Hashem didn’t tell him to do?! What was she thinking?! That’s a great question. Now, listen to the Tosafos in Maseches Shabbos (87a)[i] that says a moiredike vort.[ii] Tosfos says that, of course, Miriam knew that everything Moshe did was according to the word of Hashem. But because Moshe wanted to leave his wife, Hashem told him to leave his wife! Sure, it was Hashem who told him to leave his wife! But do you know what she thought? That because Moshe wanted to leave his wife, that’s why Hashem told him to do so, because of the great principle: בדרך שאדם רוצה לילך בה מוליכין אותו – along the path a person wishes to proceed, they lead him from Above (Makkos 10b). That’s what Tosfos says! Could you imagine that?! And what did Hashem answer her? בכל ביתי נאמן הוא – “he Moshe is the most trusted throughout My household” (Bamidbar 12:7). You know what that means?! Moshe does not have self-interest. He nullifies himself to the will of Hashem. Korach also knew that the appointment of his cousin was also from Hashem. You know why Korach was jealous? Because he said, “It must be that Moshe decided that this is who he wants to be put in that position and for me to be passed over, and Hashem acquiesced to Moshe’s ratzon.” That’s why Korach said: “I am angry at Moshe and I am angry at Hashem!” Isn’t this a moiredike vort?!

You Are Not the Balabos

That’s what happens when you have negiyos. You think that Hashem is not running the world anymore! Hashem is doing what you want! You are acting as a balabos over Him. Rabbosai, there’s no such thing! We are all humans and everyone has loads of baggage. We have people that we are upset with, and maybe rightfully so because they might have wronged us when we were totally innocent. But still and all, you have to know that no one could touch you, no one could affect you, no one can influence you – so there is no place for any sinah and kinah. Yes, it’s very hard not to be jealous. You see a guy who robs you high and dry, and he’s living like a millionaire, and he’s driving who knows what! He’s flying high and “living the life of Riley,” and basking in his good name, that he’s a rich man. There is no room for kinah. He didn’t take anything away from me to give it to somebody else! What is it your business? What is it your gesheft? And if a person knows that, and he acquiesces, and he’s machnia (lowers) himself to the Ribono Shel Olam, he will save himself any arguments and all types of jealousy. No one in the world can take away a dime from you that you are destined to have! No one in the world can take a job from you, they can’t take an apartment or a house from you, and they can’t take your shidduch from you!

It Wasn’t Meant to Be

I’ll never forget many years ago, there was a car for sale on the block for a very good price, a dream price. I went to the owner and asked him, “Are you selling this car?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “I’d like to buy it.” He said “Sold.” I asked him, “When should I come back and bring you the money and get the keys?” He replied, “Come tomorrow.” I come back tomorrow and I don’t see the car in the driveway. I said to the fellow, “Where is the car?” He said, “Oh, I sold it.” I said to him, “Are you joking? We shook hands yesterday!” He said, “Yeah, but somebody offered me a better price yesterday, so I felt I am more responsible to that person than to you, so I gave it to him.” And then I had to watch that guy drive the car around the neighborhood, and every time I thought “That’s my car!” But then I told myself, “That it’s not my car, it was never supposed to be my car and it will never be my car!” Ah, you thought that you jumped on a good deal! You thought that Hashem put you in that place, before the other guy came, and you even shook hands on it! You know what Hashem said? “You think you are a wise guy? You think you knew how to shnook your way in and get it first? Doesn’t make a difference – the car wasn’t meant to be yours. It wasn’t part of your destiny so you are not getting it.” So it turns out that the guy never took my car! Gornisht. It wasn’t nogeah.  He didn’t take my car. He didn’t tickle my car. I was looking at his car – that’s the mistake I made! I was looking at someone else’s car and I was pashut “thinking” of taking his car! Now, if Hashem would have told me the day before, “I want you to know that car is that guy’s,” so then if that guy would have gotten there first, I would have understood why he got it first. Of course, I would have no questions then. But you see – I was there first – and that was my mistake. Being first doesn’t mean anything, it means zero! Every time I entertain a thought that it’s my car, it’s a shtus, it’s sheker, it’s baloney, it’s nonsense. Could have, should have, would have. Someone told me I should have put money down! I told him if I would have put money down, I would have that guy putting a pile of cash into the owner’s hands and it would have been his car anyway – because that was his destiny. That guy was going to have it and the guy would have brought me back the cash had I given it to him beforehand! That’s all. That’s what a person has to know. In shidduchim, you don’t chop someone else’s shidduch and no one chops your shidduch! Ein davar kazeh. There’s no such thing, Rabbosai. Just be mechazek yourself in emunah and let Hashem be “Keil Emunah” – וכל מעשהו באמונה. Hashem sees our emunah and treats us accordingly, באמונה.

The Bottom Line

The underlying reason for kinah is a lack of emunah. It is a failure to realize that no one can impose or take away anything that has been already prepared and designated for us from Above, whether it’s our house, our job, a car, or a shidduch. Abusive relationships, mean bosses, and outright theft – sometimes by the closest people in our lives – are also challenges from Above sent to help us reach our shleimus and also as a kaporah. When we refer to Hashem as “Keil Emunah” (and thereby gain access to His middah of chesed), we are emphasizing that our personal relationship with Him depends on the degree of emunah that we have in Him, namely, to understand that everything in our lives, even mean words directed towards us, are also all from Hashem. However, as the Tosfos in Gemora Shabbos explains, when a person has deep-seated negiyos – like Korach’s jealousy that drove him to rebel against Moshe and Hashem – it can lead them to actually believe that they “running the show,” not Hashem, r”l. This coming week, I will try to think about a particular challenge I am facing from this very perspective, and in that zechus, IY”H, I will strengthen my emunah in the Ribono Shel Olam, which would help me acknowledge Who truly directs all the events of my life. This coming week, I will also review the amazing words of Lecha Dodi, to review and understand the deepest connection between Beis Hamikdash and Shabbos, to break down all the barriers between me and Hashem, and to grow closer to Him on Shabbos.

[i] ופירש מן האשה, מאי דרש? נשא קל וחומר בעצמו, אמר: ומה ישראל שלא דברה שכינה עמהן אלא שעה אחת, וקבע להן זמן, אמרה תורה: ״והיו נכנים וגו׳ אל תגשו״. אני, שכל שעה ושעה שכינה מדברת עמי, ואינו קובע לי זמן – על אחת כמה וכמה. ומנלן דהסכים הקדוש ברוך הוא על ידו? – דכתיב: ״לך אמר להם שובו לכם לאהליכם״, וכתיב בתריה: ״ואתה פה עמד עמדי״. ואית דאמרי: ״פה אל פה אדבר בו״.

[ii] תוס’ שם ד”ה “ואתה פה עמוד עמדי”: וא”ת מנלן דפירש משה מדעתו קודם ושוב הסכים הקב”ה על ידו שמא זה הוא צווי גמור שצוה לו לפרוש ותירץ ר”ת דאם איתא דמחמת צווי הקב”ה פירש ולא מדעתו היאך היה מערער אהרן ומרים דכתיב ותדבר מרים ואהרן במשה אלא ודאי מתחלה פירש ממנה לגמרי משה מדעתו ואע”ג דהסכים הקב”ה על ידו מ”מ נתרעמו עליו לפי שאילו לא פירש מדעתו לא היה הקב”ה מסכים דבדרך שאדם הולך בה מוליכין אותו שהרי לאהרן ומרים לא אמר לפרוש אע”ג שגם עמהם היה מדבר, וכו’

Part 2: Lecha Dodi In A New Light (5770)

It’s Time to Understand the Words

The minhag in Klal Yisrael is to begin Shabbos with Lecha Dodi. The concept of being mekabel Shabbos is a very old one that goes back to the time of the gemara. The Lecha Dodi is a piyut that was written by Rav Shlomo Alkabetz (1500-1576) and it has become the minhag of how we accept the Shabbos. You can go through your whole life, sing it, dance it in some places, and even go to the Kosel every week and make a big matzav out of it. But you have to understand at some point what is actually being said here. The first thing we understand is, we start with שמור וזכור בדבור אחד – “observe and remember in one utterance,” which does make sense. We are talking about שמור את השבת and זכור את השבת. The next one is also very geshmak: לקראת שבת לכו ונלכה, “come, let us go and greet the Shabbos,” כי היא מקור הברכה, “for she is the source of the brachah,” מראש מקדם נסוכה – “from the very beginning it was designated,” this was Hashem’s plan, Hashem appointed it and designated it. Altz very geshmak. If you ever come out of your sleep and at that point you could say it makes a lot of sense, but from there on the next one, two, three stanzas discuss, we are mazkir the churban Beis Hamikdash. That is what we mention. We talk about מקדש מלך עיר מלוכה – “Sanctuary of the King, city of royalty,” and we say, “Oy, קומי צאי מתוך ההפכה – arise and come forth from your state of upheaval, of destruction.” רב לך שבת בעמק הבכא, “you have dwelled for too long in the valley of tears.” Hashem should show you abundant pity, והוא יחמול עליך חמלה. We are mazkir the churban habayis. Then we go to התנערי מעפר קומי – “Shake it all off, arise from the ashes,” once again, we are talking about the ma’aseh of the churban which resulted in galus, we talk about Klal Yisrael shaking off the dust, התנערי מעפר קומי, rise, put on the garments of glory once again, through the son of Yishai, draw near, קרבה אל נפשי גאלה, “draw near to my soul and redeem it.” Then we go vayter and we say, התעוררי התעוררי, “wake up, wake up,” כי בא אורך, “your light has come,” קומי אורי עורי עורי שיר דברי, “Arise and illuminate, for your light has come, it’s time to sing a song Hashem,” כבוד ה’ עליך נגלה, “the glory of Hashem is revealed upon you” – it’s time for that Glory to be revealed upon Klal Yisrael, come back to the Beis Hamikdash.

The Closest Place to Hashem

We need to understand why exactly this whole poem starts with greeting the Shabbos and then it goes on to remember the churban habayis. The emes is this is a very insightful piyut by Rav Shlomo and it is a tremendous insight. Let us understand what is the uniqueness of the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash was a place where we were together with the shechinah. It was the closest place on earth that Klal Yisrael could come to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. It was a place from where all of our mizonos, the whole world is supported, all the brachah for the world. Rashi says all the trees, everything in the world comes from Beis Hamikdash. All our tefillos go to Hashem through the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash was the fulfillment of what HaKadosh Baruch Hu desires – מתאווה הקדוש ברוך הוא, HaKadosh Baruch Hu wanted to have a dirah בתחתונים with His children, and to that end HaKadosh Baruch Hu build a tremendous building, the Beis Hamikdash. The Beis Hamikdash was a symbol that every Yid was on the highest madreigah. Hashem said there is a Beis Hamikdash, that is a symbol that ושכנתי בתוכם, that I am able to reside in every single one of you.

Breaking Down All the Mechitzos

When we became unable to be that close to Hashem because we distanced ourselves from HaKadosh Baruch Hu, do you know what happened? Hashem’s shechinah, His presence, left the Beis Hamikdash. The churban was an indication that HaKadosh Baruch Hu cannot live, reside in every single one of us! The tachlis of the Beis Hamikdash is to keep that closeness, and because people sin, the tachlis of the Beis Hamikdash is to be mechaper on our sins ונתן לנו את בית הבחירה לכפר על עונותינו. That’s why the Beis Hamikdash is called levanon, because it is malbin, it whitens the avonoseihem of Yisrael, the sins of Klal Yisroel. It’s a place where the mechitzah that separated Klal Yisrael from HaKadosh Baruch Hu was constantly aligned. That mechitzah hamavdeles was destroyed. What was the yofi (beauty) of the Beis Hamikdash? If somebody asks you, “Can you tell me in a sentence what was the yofi, what was the greatness of the Beis Hamikdash?” The answer is: the Beis Hamikdash was a place that was mevatel all mechitzos. Any separation that existed between us and Hashem, became batul umevutal. Shabbos kodesh is zeh le’umas zeh. Just like the Beis Hamikdash was the place that symbolized the closeness to HaKadosh Baruch Hu – the kirvah to Hashem – so, too Shabbos is the zeman that symbolizes the closeness to Hashem. That’s what Shabbos is. Shabbos represents HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s desire to become close to us. So what does Hashem do? ופרוש עלינו סוכת שלומך, Hashem spreads out over us, a סוכת שלום. Hashem puts up this tent over us. Now if I come to you and put a tent over you and climb in a tent with you, you know what that means? It means that you and I are tenting. You and I are being miskarev to each other. HaKadosh Baruch Hu is being miskarev to me. And you know what happens when HaKadosh Baruch Hu is miskarev to you? Chet disappears from the world and the ruach kedushah remains in the world. HaKadosh Baruch Hu is extremely close to us on Shabbos, potentially.

The Mekor HaBracha

Now, we know that Shabbos is מעין עולם הבא (Berachos 57b). Shabbos is the time period when every single Yid (and this is the kindness that HaKadosh Baruch Hu did with us) – no matter what galus a Jew is in, no matter how bad he fell – a Jew still keeps Shabbos. What does that mean? Before Shabbos a Jew cleans up his act and a Jew comes to the Beis Hamikdash of Shabbos and he says to HaKadosh Baruch Hu, “I am with you and I understand that the tafkid and the tachlis of the world is to become close to you.” So we say לקראת שבת לכו ונלכה. We say to Hashem, “HaKadosh Baruch Hu היא מקור הברכה, there is nothing else.” This is the whole tafkid of Shabbos, Rabbosai. Shabbos in the whole tafkid in this world. It symbolizes the purpose of my creation which is to be close to Hashem like we said this week. Like the Ramchal speaks out a number of times, that mitzvos – not just a toladah of mitzvos is becoming close to Hashem – but the purpose of the mitzvos is to bond us with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. That is the purpose of the mitzvos. Therefore, we have to understand that Shabbos is the zeman that reminds us of the churban habayis. When a Jew comes to Shabbos and a Jew put all his things aside, he puts all his na’arishkeit behind him and he “cleans up his act” and he now comes to HaKadosh Baruch Hu and says, “HaKadosh Baruch Huהנני, all my melachah is done. HaKadosh Baruch Hu there is no world that exists, I am doing teshuvah, I am coming back to you, HaKadosh Baruch Hu. I want to bond with you and I want to unite with you.” You should know when you say that, a tremendous thing happens. All of a sudden the yearning of the Beis Hamikdash rises to the top! When we remember the pinnacle of the kirvah of HaKadosh Baruch Hu to us was realized in the Beis Hamikdash and we say, “HaKadosh Baruch it’s Shabbos now,” so how can I not think about the Beis Hamikdash?! The Beis Hamikdash was the place where it was niskayem ואני קרבת אלקים לי טוב – “as for me, the closeness to Hashem is good” (Tehillim 73:29).  It was the place where any Yid could walk in and be ‘מתענג על ה, rejoice with Hashem. A person could be נהנה מזיו שכינתו. It says that nobody went into the Beis Hamikdash and came out unhappy. It was a place that was מלא שמחה. So in  the same way, when we come to Shabbos, we can feel a shtikel taste of this beauty. We can feel a shtikel taste of this wonder and you know what we say? “HaKadosh Baruch Hu, please, מקדש מלך עיר מלוכה. It is time, let us be zoche that this mikdash of the melech should arise from its matzav of destruction and upheaval. HaKadosh Baruch Hu, shake off the dust and bring us back to the Beis Hamikdash!”

We begin to see that Shabbos is the other side of the coin of Beis Hamikdash. This is our yearning and this is our thinking. So at least when we say לכה דודי tonight let us think for once about לכה דודי. Let us think about number one, שמור וזכור בדיבור אחד, “Hashem you told me to be shomer Shabbos. Yes, Hashem I acknowledge ה’ אחד ושמו אחד and I do want to greet the Shabbos. I want to be mekabel the Shabbos with all its glory that it has to offer me. I want to be מתענג על השבת and I want to rejoice in Shabbos and I want to do mitzvos on Shabbos, I want to learn Torah on Shabbos, I want to bond with you, HaKadosh Baruch Hu on Shabbos, and in that light I am going to discuss the Beis Hamikdash and go into a whole launch of a number of pizmonim HaKadosh Baruch Hu about the binyan habayis.” May we all be zoche this Shabbos to have an aliyah, to be zoche to a shtikel te’ima, a shtikel ohr of the Shabbos and at least it should be me’ir on us, it should enlighten us that we should understand that this is the time to request and remind ourselves of the joy of the Beis Hamikdash.

Similar Posts