Vayikra 5783: Seeing the Yad Hashem in Everything

לעילוי יצחק מאיר בן לב בלוי

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The Story of the Small Aleph

The passuk opens by saying that Hashem called to Moshe – ויקרא אל משה (Vayikra 1:1). The Ba’al Haturim discusses why the last letter alef in the word ויקרא is written small. In a sefer Torah most letters are written uniformly, the same size. The alef in ויקרא is written smaller than the other letters. The Ba’al Haturim says that the reason for that is because Moshe Rabeinu was exceedingly humble. He was the ענו מכל אדם, the most humble of people. In spite of his immense brachos, in spite of all the greatness that Hashem bestowed upon him, Moshe was the humblest of all people.

When Moshe Rabeinu wrote the Torah, Hashem told him how to spell each word. When it came to ויקרא, Hashem said vav yud kuf reish alef, and Moshe Rabeinu didn’t want to write the alef. It’s amazing to consider that. Hashem is dictating to him how to write the Torah and, yet, Moshe Rabeinu doesn’t want to write the alef. He balks. Now, without the alef what it says is: וַיִּקָּ֥ר (happenstance).

There was another great prophet that was considered in some ways equivalent to Moshe Rabeinu, but he was from the nations of the world and in the Torah when Hashem spoke to this fellow named Bilam, Hashem wrote it וַיִּקָּ֥ר, without the alef, implying that Hashem wasn’t looking to speak to him directly. It was almost a matter of fact. It was coincidental. It was in the form of “by the way.” Mikreh means coincidence. Bilaam was a noted rasha. He was a ba’al ga’avah par excellence. He was a ba’al ta’avah par excellence. When Hashem spoke to him, it was ויקר. The way that Hashem addressed Bilaam  wasn’t considered honorable.

Moshe Rabeinu, who was a great anav, wanted to write the word ויקר about himself, that Hashem happened to coincidentally “bump into” Moshe. Moshe didn’t want to write that Hakadosh Baruch Hu pashut bechvodo uveatzmo called to him, as if he was a player in Hashem’s game, in Hashem’s world. But Hakadosh Baruch Hu told him to write alef, “You’ve got to write the alef.” So he wrote a small alef, not a big alef.

Rav Shach’s Insight

Now Rav Shach, z”l, posed an interesting question. He said that in everything you see in Torah, you have to ask, vas shtait dah, what is the message? What is being said here? Nothing should be taken for granted or at face value. Rav Shach said every single squiggle in the Torah teaches us, in the gemara‘s language, תילי תילין של הלכות, mountains of halachos. If you know the code of the Torah and you understand the code of lashon hakodesh, you know that there is so much within one letter, within one little kotz, a little thorn sticking up from the letter. It has tremendous meaning and depth.

Rav Shach asks a question. Certainly, if you have a small alef, it’s definitely going to minimize the lesson, and what can be learned out through that alef. It will be less than if it would have been a big alef, a regular alef. So how was Moshe Rabeinu willing to forgo writing a big alef, which would have imparted to me more teachings from Hashem, and, instead, write a small alef just because he was humble?

So how would we teitch it? How would you answer this question? You know what we would say? He was a tzaddik. You know how tzaddikim are. They try to minimize themselves. But can we really say that? Moshe Rabeinu was the moser haTorah. He was the transmitter of the Torah. The Torah is called Toras Moshe! Moshe Rabeinu was the teacher par excellence, the greatest teacher of history. How could he minimize the teachings of the Torah?!

Rav Shach answered that the word ויקרא is teaching us is that Moshe Rabeinu weighed the situation in his mind and said as follows: “I could write a regular alef here and teach many halachos or I could write a smaller alef and teach less halachos. But when Klal Yisrael will read this word with a smaller alef, it will impart on them the great lesson on the importance of being humble. It will teach them the importance of being minimized.” Now, if Moshe omitted the alef totally, yes – there would have been something tremendous lacking there, and the Chazal would have said, “Really, it should have said ויקרא, but Moshe Rabeinu didn’t write the alef because he wanted to impart a lesson that he was humble.” And we would have said, “Wow, Moshe Rabeinu taught us such a tremendous lesson in humility,” meaning that the aspiration to be humble was so important to him that Moshe decided to omit that alef, which would have taught me numerous halachos, since he would rather teach us this lesson of being humble.”

Moshe Rabeinu held that it would be a much greater lesson to omit the alef completely. That would have outweighed all the other lessons. So what did Hashem do? Hashem said, “We’ll make a compromise. We’ll make the alef smaller so then it will still be a complete alef, but it will still impart your lesson.”

The Danger of Arrogance

The question is why didn’t Hashem want to let Moshe leave out the alef and impart the message of humility in a much greater fashion? Imagine if we would have been told that Hashem wanted to write an alef and Moshe told Him, “Hashem, I would like to have it written ויקר to minimize Your meeting with me, to diminish Your meeting.” But Hashem said no. The question is, why? Was it because Hashem wanted to give the kavod to Moshe? What was Hashem’s motivation that He did not want it written without the aleph?

To learn about anavah is tremendous. Who knows the famous song from the letter of the Ramban? Anavah is שהיא מידה טובה מכל המידות שבעולם – anavah is the greatest of all the middos in the world. Can you imagine that? The Ramban says that humility is the greatest middah of all the middos tovos shebeolam. That’s something to ponder in and of itself, because you have to know that what leads a person to be nichshal – to stumble, to make mistakes, to sin and to go against Hashem – is never from humility. What makes a person challenge Hashem is the opposite, it is arrogance. The greatest impediment for yiras shamayim, for awareness of Hashem, is arrogance. The greatest middah that leads a person to awareness of Hashem is humility. If a person is humble, he doesn’t have an inflated ego, he doesn’t have an imagination that he’s bigger than he is, then that person is capable of seeing Hashem, capable of grasping Hashem, capable of doing amazing things. We have to know that’s something to think about.

Two Type of Ba’alei Ga’avah

We’ve said this many times. There are two types of ba’alei ga’avah. There’s a real ba’al ga’avah and then there’s an imaginary ba’al ga’avah. I once had a fellow here. He became frum. He became a rebbi. He used to ask me a question, more than once. He said, “Rebbi, I don’t understand. You’re always saying that I’m a ba’al ga’avah, but aren’t I the smartest guy here?” I said, “I don’t think so.” He said, “Who is smarter than me? Every time you have a math question, I get it like this (snap of fingers). I’m smarter than most people here. Why shouldn’t I be proud of myself?”

A Certified Genius

Once a fellow came into the shul on motzei Shabbos wearing a white suit. When I saw him, I thought of my grandfather’s (Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l) famous joke. In the 1950s, a guy once walked into the Yeshiva Chaim Berlin wearing a white suit. This was cool in the 1950s. When he saw him, my grandfather said, “I’ll take an ice cream.” He wanted to know if the guy was selling ice cream because the guys selling ice cream in those days used to wear white suits, you know.

This fellow came to ma’ariv of Motzei Shabbos because he wanted to say kaddish. I came over and said, “Shalom aleichem. How are you? What’s your name? What brings you here?”  He said, “I’m here as part of the convention.” There used to be a hotel at the bottom of the road, so I guessed that was where he was staying. I said, “Oh the convention. What kind of convention?” He said, “A Mensa convention.” I said, “A who?” “A Mensa,” he said. I asked him, “And what is that? What are they celebrating? Yarchei kallah? What are they doing over here?” He said, “Mensa is a group of geniuses. It stands for genius. I’m a certified genius,” he told me. I said, “Are you really that smart?” He said, “I’m very smart.” I said, “I’d like to introduce you to the rosh yeshivah, Rabbi Gifter. He’s also a genius. Would you like to meet him?” He said, “Okay.”

Rav Gifter used a walker at that time. He was in the hall of Telshe Yeshivah. We walked over, and I said, “Uncle, a gut voch. I’d like to introduce you to this guest who came for ma’ariv. He’s from Mensa.” The rosh yeshivah looked at him and he said, “From where?” He said, “From Mensa.” “What’s that?” Rav Gifter asked. The fellow said, “That’s a group of certified geniuses.” Rav Gifter looked and said, “Sir, are you a genius?” He said, “Yes.” So Rav Gifter said, “Do you know of G-d?” He said, “I’m not sure.” A classic Rav Gifter comment, he said back to him, “Ah! You’re no genius. You’re far from a genius! By us, every 3-year-old knows there’s a G-d. Have a nice week. A gute voch.” It was like, bam! It was gevaldig. The guy was like, “But, but, but, but, but…” No, you’re no genius, my friend.

Real Humility

There’s someone who thinks he’s a genius, but he’s really gornisht he doesn’t know how to do math and he thinks he’s still a genius because he knows that one plus one is two. He figured that out. And there’s another guy who knows how to do one plus one and two plus two, so he thinks he’s a real genius. But having humility means understanding that all the gifts that a person  was granted are a present from Hashem, and to see if he’ll utilize those gifts to fulfill his mission in the world. Moshe Rabeinu wanted to impart this lesson. It’s a gevaldige lesson. It’s very important.

The gemara (Erachin 16b) says גדולה ענוה, anavah is greater than all else.[i] So why wasn’t Hashem agreeable to Moshe Rabeinu leaving out the alef? The answer is that there’s a greater lesson to be learned about humility, which is one of the fundamental basics of emunah. A Jew cannot begin to live unless he knows this. It’s called the alef beis of emunah. And that is to believe in hashgachah pratis. To believe that there’s absolutely nothing that happens that’s not guided, directed and certified by Hashem and from Hashem. Every step that a person takes, מה’ מִצְעֲדֵי גֶבֶר כּוֹנָנוּ וְדַרְכּוֹ יֶחְפָּץ – from Hashem every person’s steps are directed and his path Hashem desires (Tehillim 37:23). Dovid Hamelech is telling us – don’t think that a person goes places and his steps are not directed by Hashem.[ii] A person doesn’t knock his tiny little finger without it being announced in shamayim.[iii] As the famous Ramban (Shemos 13:16) says, אין לאדם חלק בתורת משה רבינו, a person has no shaychus, no connection to Toras Moshe, עד שיאמין, until he believes, שכל דברנו ומקראנו כולם ניסים, until he understands that all our words and all the things that happen to us are miracles and אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם, there exists no nature and no teva haolam, no minhag haolam, in them.[iv]

There’s a statement found in the gemora Pesachim (3a)[v] that hints to the chashivus of being aware of hashgachah pratis. A pasuk (Devarim 23:11)[vi] discusses the tumah emanating from a man’s body, מקרה הוא לא טהורה, so the chassidishe sefarim say that this a play on words. If you think it’s a mikrah – if you think it’s accidental, in reality, לא טהורה – it’s not a pure thought. Any time you think something is a mikrah, accidental, that in itself is not a pure thought. That’s a wrong thought. It’s an improper thought.

A Frightening Thought

Hakadosh Baruch Hu didn’t want to write ויקר next to Moshe because it would almost appear as if it just happened coincidentally. The Torah tells us that nothing happens by accident. Everything that happens is a decision and a preplanned process from Hashem.

We could say this over and over and over, but few people actually believe it. People say things like, “I bumped into this guy. This happened. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or I was in the right place at the right time. What a lucky guy! He picked the right letters for the lottery.”

But now we have to explain, why did Hashem write the word ויקר in the story of Bilaam, which implies – as we explained earlier – that Hashem simply “bumped” into Bilam? The reason is that the umos haolam don’t believe in the hashgachah of Hashem. According to them, their existence is al pi teva. And therefore – to a certain degree – they are subject to teva (nature) and they live less by hashgachah pratis.

I want you to know that a Jew who removes his bitachon from Hashem, someone who feels that he is not being guided by Hashem, השי”ת גם כן מסיר ממנו השגחתו, Hashem also removes from him His hashgachah. That’s what the Vilna Gaon says in masechta Brachos (Ch 9).[vii]It’s a very frightening thought. So if somebody tells me he has no hashgachah from Hashem, so it may be. The Seforno says it also.[viii] If a person removes his mind from Hakadosh Baruch Hu,  he won’t feel and won’t be aware that Hashem is guiding and directing him.

Hashem is Your Shadow

Now, you have to know that if a person would be aware and contemplate and concentrate and think about the fact that he’s being guided by Hashem on every single step of the way, he would become overwhelmed.

I knew a person who needed a place to live. He was kicked out of his house and he had to move into another house, but the other house was not ready. He, meanwhile, needed a place, a bridge, for a number of months. The problem is that rental prices were very high. If you needed a temporary rental for a few months, you paid a lot of money. I told the person, “You don’t have to think you’re paying money.” At first the person thought that maybe he could stay with a family member, but that family member disappointed him and said, “Absolutely not. You can’t stay by me.” Very disappointing. I said, “That’s what Hashem wanted. But it doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune now, lav davka.

And then Hashem found him a house to live in with his family for absolutely free. What happened? It was amazing. He met a person and the person said, “I need a favor. If you can get somebody to do me this favor – I have a house for you, for free.” The person called me up, “Could you do the guy a favor?” I said, “Why not? I do favors for Jews.” So I did the guy a favor and this fellow got the house for free. It saved him thousands of dollars. It was unbelievable!

That’s how a person has to live. We live in such a teva world that we don’t think. A person has to know that Hashem is your shadow. Hashem is literally your shadow.[ix] Nothing less than that. If a person goes around and he sees he’s on his own, then, he has to find places, he has to look for places, he has to do this, and he has to do that. The Torah (Vayikra 26: 23-24) says והלכתם עמי בקרי, if you’re going to walk with me coincidentally, והלכתי אף אני עמכם בקרי, Hashem says, I will walk with you coincidentally. But if you’re going to put your mind in hashgachas haBorei, you’re going to be zocheh to hashgachas pratis.

There’s a famous medrash, a moradige medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 13:9).[x]It’s a ma’aseh of Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua. They were traveling in the sea, the yam hagadol. They came to a spot in the ocean where the water wasn’t letting the boat go. Whether it was for some scientific reason, or whether there was a whirlpool, or there was a different kind of current, the water wasn’t allowing the boat to sail and continue. אמר לו רבי אליעזר לרבי יהושע, so Rabbi Eliezer turns to Rabbi Yehoshua and what does he say to him? It’s amazing: לא באנו לכאן אלא לנסיון. Why did we come here? How did we get into this? We always find these challenges! I think that we came here for a test. There has to be a purpose. He said, “Hashem wants to show us something. Let’s lower the barrel and fill it up with water from this place.” They filled up the barrel and then in whatever way, they managed to continue on their trip.

When they came to Rome, Adrianus, the Caesar, invited them to see him in his palace. He asked them a question about the ocean, some kind of scientific question. They said that there is a certain part of the ocean, with an undercurrent, that prevents the ocean from overflowing. So Caesar said, “I don’t believe you. You have to show me some of that water. So they said we happen to have a barrel of that water with us. We were in that place. We saw where the undercurrent was pulling down the water.” So they showed it to him and it answered his question. Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua didn’t know what it was at that time, but they knew that if Hashem brought them there, it was for some purpose. Hashem was preparing them because Hashem knew that this person was going to ask them about this question.

A Heroic Move and a Free Apartment

A person has to know that there’s absolutely nothing at all without hashgacha pratis. Years ago I was mekarev a young married couple to Yiddishkeit. I told the husband that he has to go to learn in Eretz Yisrael. He had a very good and prestigious job. He told me that had no money to go to Eretz Yisrael. I told him to “go with Hashem.” I remember we called my grandfather (Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l) to ask him for advice. I told my grandfather, “I’m sending him to Eretz Yisrael to learn. He gave up his job. He has no background and I’d like him to get some experience in Torah and build a base for his life. I have a place for him to stay for a while, with a friend of mine, but he can’t afford a place of his own.” My grandfather said, “What he’s doing is heroics. Heroes don’t ask shaylos. You can’t go to a rav and say, ‘Should I be a hero?’ Heroes do, and Hashem helps them. So I told the guy, “Go. Don’t worry about it. Go.”

He went to Eretz Yisrael. He stayed by my friend. My friend called me a few weeks later to ask how long they were planning on staying by him. I said, “I’m not sure. Until they find a place.” He said, “How much could they pay?” I said, “Zero.” He said, “Oh no. I’m going to be stuck with this guy forever now.” Then he thought and said, “You think Hashem is going to give them a free apartment in Yerushalayim? There are no free apartments in Yerushalayim. There is a shortage of apartments in Yerushalayim.” I told him, “Hashem could give them a free apartment in Yerushalayim. I believe it without a doubt. Why wouldn’t Hashem help this young couple?”

One day the young wife was on a bus. A person standing on the side, looks at her, she looks at him. They recognize each other and they begin to talk. He knows her father. She knows who he is. He says to her, “Do you perhaps need an apartment?” She says, “As a matter of fact, yes, I do.” He said, “I have a free apartment for you.” He tells her where it is. She thanks him and tells him that she’ll get in touch soon.

She calls me up and I say to her, “What did the guy look like?” “He’s wearing a big modern kippah, a big modern yarmulke.”I said, “Then I’m sure that this apartment is not in such a frum area. It’s probably a more modern neighborhood. I don’t want you to be in Eretz Yisrael in a modern neighborhood, but Hashem is showing you that He can give you a free apartment. Call him up and find out exactly where it is,” I concluded.

She calls the fellow back and he tells her it’s in this place called “Sarei Yisrael.” It was an apartment hotel that had just opened up. My wife and I were there a few months before that. We heard this place had opened up in a frum neighborhood and we went there for Shabbos. I wanted to check it out. It was one of those little apartment hotels. It wasn’t a fancy hotel, but there were fancy apartments. Apparently, this guy, who was involved in the construction project, had a whole issue with the builders, and he became entitled to get one free apartment there. He couldn’t find anybody who would want to live in one of those apartments near the frum Jews. So this couple moved into that apartment!

At that time, it was at the end of Malchei Yisrael. It wasn’t in the middle of the frum neighborhood. It was at the edge of the frum neighborhood. Today it’s already in the center. That couple lived there for as long as they both learned in Eretz Yisrael. At some point the guy called them and told them, “I’ve got to have the apartment back at such and such a time.” They replied, “That is good timing, that is the week we were planning to leave Eretz Yisrael!”

I told him, “You see, Hashem, gave you a free apartment in Eretz Yisrael. It’s unbelievable.” The only thing they had to pay was $50 a month for laundry services. The hotel would change the laundry, wash the laundry and give fresh laundry. It’s mind boggling to see the hashgacha of Hashem.

People have to know that everything is hashgachah. If a person believes in hashgachah they will notice it. You have to think, why is Hashem doing this to you?

A Strange Request from a Secular Librarian

I’ll share with you another amazing ma’aseh. There was a yungerman, a respectable avrech, that used to work with kisvei yad, or manuscripts. Many times he would go to different libraries and look at old writings. He would copy them and try to compare texts. Often, he would go there and eat lunch there. One day, after he finished eating in the library, he bentched. Unbeknownst to him, as he was bentching in the proper way, out loud, the librarian was listening to the bentching. After he finished, she came over to him and said, “Selichah, I noticed when you bentched you said, שלא נבוש ולא נכלם ולא נכשל לעולם ועד – so that we will not feel inner shame, nor be humiliated not stumble for ever and ever.” He added the words ולא נכשל, we shouldn’t stumble. She asked him, “Where did you get that nusach from? In all the siddurim it says: שלא נבוש ולא נכלם לעולם ועד.” He was a little surprised. She wasn’t frum and she was asking about the nusach of benching. He said, “That’s what my father did. That’s my father’s minhag. That’s what I do.” She said, “Could you find where it comes from and tell me?” He took her information down and he said, “Okay, I’m going to look into it.”

He left the library and went back to his work. But he remembered her strange request, “I’d like to get that message from you.” That night, on the way to his house, he was thinking, “Taka what’s pshat, what reason is there to tell this frieh, not frum girl about a nusach in birchas hamazon?” but he said to himself, “Listen, if I gave her my word, I’m going to do it, maybe it’s chillul Hashem otherwise. I’ll find out.”

A Wedding Invitation From a Stranger

He started doing a little research and eventually found this nusach, this text, in one of the siddurim. He made a copy of the page, circled around the words ולא נכשל, and mailed it to her. Months went by. One day he got an invitation to his house. He was invited to a wedding. He looked at the invitation. He didn’t know the boy. He didn’t know the girl. He figured it must be a mistake. He turned to his wife and asked, “Do you know these people?” She looked at it. “I don’t recognize any of the names. I don’t know her.” The husband was a little curious. The hall wasn’t far from his house so when the day of the chasunah arrived, he decided to go and check it out.

He went to the chasunah and he gave the mazal tov wishes to the people there. He didn’t  recognize anybody at the place. He was about to turn around and leave the hall, when somebody came over to him and said, “Excuse me, is your name so and so?” He replied, “Yes, that’s my name.” The man said, “The kallah would like to talk to you.” The kallah wanted to talk to him?! Okay. Even before he got a chance to look for her, the kallah was standing right there. He gave her a warm mazal tov, a warm brachah. The kallah asked, “Do you remember me?” He says, “No, sorry.” She said, “I want to tell you something. I’m the lady who was the librarian in that library where you came to look at the kisvei yad, the manuscripts. Do you remember?” He still didn’t remember. He had forgotten the story. She said, “You don’t remember me? I asked you about the nusach, the text of benching, of לא נכשל.” He suddenly remembered, “Ah, yes, sure – I do remember you!” She said, “Well, I’m that librarian. Let me give you a little background. First, I want to thank you very much for what you did. I was born into a frum house and I went to frum schools, but over the time I turned my back on my home and on my education and I became entirely chiloni (irreligious). As a librarian, I met a certain intelligent, intellectual Arab. We became friends, and we became close. I became completely detached from Yiddishkeit and we decided to get married. But I couldn’t get married and live in Eretz Yisrael. To live with an Arab in Eretz Yisrael wasn’t going to work. He told me, ‘Let’s go to America. We’ll get married and everything will be good.’ I said, ‘I’ll think about it. Give me a couple of days.

Bediyuk during one of those days when I was thinking about it, your copy of the siddur came to me, with ולא נכשל, ‘we should not stumble.’ It had a circle around it. You wrote a circle around ולא נכשל.  I said, ‘Hashem, I got Your message.’ The fact that it said ולא נכשל, we shouldn’t stumble, I was  definitely about to take a step where I would be נכשל. I said, ‘Hashem, I hear You loud and clear.’ I called the Arab up and told him, ‘I’m sorry, but it’s not going to work.’ I said good-bye to him and hung up. I decided to do teshuvah and I began to come back. Baruch Hashem, I was introduced to my chosson, a ba’al teshuvah and this is the happiest day of my life.”

Look for Messages

Now, the yungerman understood why Hashem made her hear his nusach of ולא נכשל. Hashem orchestrated that those words should bother her and that she should get the message to come back home. That’s called hashgachah pratis. That’s called not ויקר. That’s called ויקרא.

Rabosai, this is the basics of emunah. The more you think about it, the more you can become spiritually aroused and elevated. You can become excited. You can become meslahev in an amazing way. If a person keys into this hislavus, he then exists in a much more real way, separated from his mundane, tevah– and mikrei-driven world and he lives an entirely different existence. Things don’t bother him as much. He looks for messages. He’s getting messages and he listens carefully to them. If a person looks for messages, he gets those messages. If a person looks for hashgachas Hashem, Hashem shows it to him. People always ask me, “What’s your secret? How come all these funny things happen to you?” I say, “They can happen to you, too. You know how? Look for Hashem. Every time you see something or you hear something or you’re walking somewhere, ask yourself, “How can I notice Hashem?” “Hashem, I’m looking for You.” Ask yourself that question and Hashem will reveal Himself to you.


The Bottom Line

The greatest impediment to yiras shamayim is the middah of arrogance, while the greatest positive middah that leads a person to an awareness of Hashem, is humility. Working on humility means understanding that not only do all my gifts and talents come from Hashem to fulfill my divine mission in life, but that everything that happens to me on a daily basis – all the events and details that transpire around me – are also orchestrated by Hashem to demonstrate His hashgacha pratis. This is the lesson of the small aleph in the word ויקרא that Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to impart on all of us. Drawing on the messages from the “free apartment” and the “librarian” stories, I will look at the events in my coming week – whether it’s the people I will come in contact with, or situations that I will experience – to attempt to see the guiding Hand of Hashem and try to understand the underlying message.

[i] בעא מיניה רבי יהודה בריה דר’ שמעון תוכחה לשמה וענוה שלא לשמה הי מינייהו עדיפא אמר ליה ולא מודית דענוה לשמה עדיפא דאמר מר ענוה גדולה מכולם שלא לשמה נמי עדיפא דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לעולם יעסוק אדם בתורה ובמצות אע”פ שלא לשמה שמתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה

[ii] ודרכו יחפץ – השם חפץ בכל דרכיו ואם הוא יחסר בי”ת, על כן לא יצליח (אבן עזרא שם)

[iii] ואמר ר’ חנינא אין אדם נוקף אצבעו מלמטה אלא א”כ מכריזין עליו מלמעלה שנאמר (תהלים לז, כג) מה’ מצעדי גבר כוננו (משלי כ, כד) ואדם מה יבין דרכו (חולין ז׳ ב)

[iv] [וכוונת כל המצות שנאמין באלהינו ונודה אליו שהוא בראנו, והיא כוונת היצירה, שאין לנו טעם אחר ביצירה הראשונה, ואין אל עליון חפץ בתחתונים מלבד שידע האדם ויודה לאלהיו שבראו, וכו’] ומן הנסים הגדולים המפורסמים אדם מודה בנסים הנסתרים שהם יסוד התורה כלה, שאין לאדם חלק בתורת משה רבינו עד שנאמין בכל דברינו ומקרינו שכלם נסים אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם, בין ברבים בין ביחיד, אלא אם יעשה המצות יצליחנו שכרו, ואם יעבור עליהם יכריתנו ענשו, הכל בגזרת עליון, וכו’

[v] וכו’ לעולם אל יוציא אדם דבר מגונה מפיו, שהרי עקם הכתוב שמונה אותיות, ולא הוציא דבר מגונה מפיו. שנאמר: ״מן הבהמה הטהורה ומן הבהמה אשר איננה טהרה״ וכו’, רב פפא אמר: תשע, שנאמר: ״כי יהיה בך איש אשר לא יהיה טהור מקרה לילה״. רבינא אמר: עשר, ויו ד״טהור״. רב אחא בר יעקב אמר: שש עשרה, שנאמר: ״כי אמר מקרה הוא בלתי טהור הוא כי לא טהור״.

[vi] כי יהיה בך איש אשר לא יהיה טהור מקרה לילה ויצא אל מחוץ למחנה לא יבא אל תוך המחנה

[vii] וז”ל “כשהאדם מסיר בטחונו בה’ ,השי”ת גם כן מסיר ממנו השגחתו.”

[viii] וז”ל (סוף פרשת תזריע): “כל בני הנכר ורוב האומה הישראלית זולתי יחידי סגולה, הם בלי ספק תחת הנהגת הטבע והגרמים השמימיים [-הכוכבים והמזלות] הנכבדים מאותם בני אדם, כשאר מיני חיים, אשר לא תפול השגחה אלוקית [-השגחה פרטית] באישיהם, אבל במיניהם בלבד כי בהם תשלם כוונת הממציא ית'”

[ix] וכתב בספר “שומר אמונים” (מאמר השגחה פרטית פי”ג): ותדע אחי אהובי אם היה ידוע לך גודל מעלת זה העבודה של האמונה בהשגחה פרטית, היה נתלהב לבבך עד מאוד כי כתיב “ה’ צלך” שהקב”ה צלו של האדם כביכול, וכל מה שהאדם עושה גורם כך למעלה בשמים, ואם האדם הולך ח”ו במקרה ואינו שם אל לבו אמונת השגחה פרטית עליו הכתוב אומר “והלכתם עמי בקרי והלכתי אף אני עמכם בקרי” (ויקרא כו), אבל אם משים אל ליבו גודל השגחת הבורא בכל דבר אז מושגח משמים בהשגחה פרטית יותר מכל אדם, עכ”ל.

[x] כל הנחלים הלכים אל הים וגו’ (קהלת א, ז), מעשה ברבי אליעזר ורבי יהושע שהיו מפרישין לים הגדול, ונכנסה ספינתן לים למקום שאין המים מהלכין, אמר לו רבי אליעזר לרבי יהושע לא באנו לכאן אלא לנסיון, מלאו משם חבית מלא מים, כיון שעלו לרומי אמר להם אדרינוס שחיק עצמות, מי אוקינוס מה הנון, אמרו לו מים בולעין מים. אמר להן הבו לי מנהון, יהבון ליה מלוא לקיניאתה, והוו יהבין בגוה מים והיא בלעה להון. על דעתיה דרבי אליעזר משם הם שואבים. על דעתיה דרבי יהושע (קהלת א, ז): לשם הם שבים ללכת, וכו’.

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