All the Days of My Life I was Troubled – When Would this Verse Come to My Hand and I Would Fulfill It – Daily Shiur by R’ Eliezer Berland Shlit”a

The full text of the Daily Shiur by our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a from Tuesday, the night of 29 Marcheshvan, Parashat Toldot, after Maariv:

Then Yoav thrust the sword into Avner.  Avner asked him, “Why are you doing this to me?  What did I do to you?”  He [Yoav] said, “You killed my brother, my darling brother.”  He had a most darling brother, would run on the heads of the ears [of grain].  Everyone saw the movies, how they would run on the branches, on the trees, but by the Jews, they would run on the tops of the ears, and the ears wouldn’t become bent over.  Avner said to Asahel, “Don’t run after me, don’t mess with me.”  If a man says to a woman, “I want to betroth you…,” she says to him, “On the condition that you will be a warrior, the mightiest in the world.”  Then like which warrior does he need to be?  Like Avner, not like Shimshon – like Avner.  Shimshon wasn’t a warrior.  This was just child’s play, that he caught some lion, tore it up – this is nothing.  Also David battled five lions, four lions, three bears.  To tear up a bear or a lion is the simplest thing.  But to fight like King David with four lions – “Also the lion, also the bear, your servant struck down (I Shmuel 17:36).  With three bears at one time – this no one is capable of, there’s no such thing, there’s no such thing.  In the jungle, there are twelve men overcoming one lion – twelve men.  The lion flees, sees twelve men and flees, even a group [of lions].  We searched for a group of lions.  We were in the jungle in South Africa.  We were searching for a group [of lions].  They just smelled that we were coming close, already were fleeing, even before we saw them.

Then how do you fight lions?  Only David knows [how] to fight with lions – four lions and three bears at one time.  All of them attacked him.  David says to Shaul, “What, who’s this Goliath?  Who is this?  Who is this?… This is a dog!  This is kishta [go away].”  They brought him a stick, [David] said to him [Goliath], “Yalla, kishta, kishta, kishta.”  He [Goliath] said, “What am I, a dog?  What, aren’t you ashamed?”  For this he didn’t forgive him.  For this, there’s no forgiveness.  It’s written, “Bestow honor to royalty.”  To belittle a king in such a way?  To belittle a general in such a way?  To belittle the Chief of Staff.  Like that – even without a rifle, without a spear, without arrows?  Just a stick.  A stick with five rounds, five stones.  He says, “Fine.”  Somehow raises the helmet.  There are two opinions [about how Goliath was killed by the stone from David].  “He sunk the stone into his forehead” (I Shmuel 17:49) – that the stone penetrated his armor.  There is an opinion that he just then lifted up his helmet for a second, and at that second [the stone penetrated his forehead and he died].

Then it’s impossible to fight like David!  David composed all the Tehilim, we need to say Tehilim every day.  And through the power of Tehilim, David can overcome all the lions in the world.  “I fear not the myriads of people deployed against me all around” (Tehilim 3:7).  Even if myriads, myriads, the whole world – seven billion.  Sancheriv came [with] 2,600,000,000, so this is nothing.  This is absolutely nothing.  Also with Avraham.  He threw dirt – it became swords.  He threw straw – it became arrows.  Hashem says to him, “Why are you taking Eliezer [with you to war]?  This is unnecessary.  You can throw dirt alone, throw swords alone, throw straw alone – it will be arrows.  For what do you need Eliezer?”

Therefore, they were 400 years in Egypt.  It needed to be 400 years; Hashem shortened it to 210.  So Iyov said, “Why at every moment do You change Your word?  Hashem cannot say a statement and fulfill it?”  He said to him, “Your descendants will be foreigners in a land not their own, and they will serve them, and they will oppress them for 400 years” (Bereishit 15:13).  And Iyov was relying on this.  Everyone knew about this statement, it was passed on to everyone, throughout the world was publicized; they made notices.  In all the newspapers this was the headline, that the Jewish people need to be slaves for 400 years.  And this Iyov said to Pharaoh, “Here they need to be slaves for 400 years.  Every twenty years is a generation.  They are twenty generations.  Why are you worried about what will be in another twenty generations?  Why does this interest you?  In another twenty generations there will be someone else.  You will oppress them, enslave them.”

Therefore, Iyov went through such suffering, because Iyov is a reincarnation of Terach.  Terach was Terach.  [If] a person can’t be Avraham, then don’t be Terach.  There was in “Ironi 6 [a name of a municipal school],” a lecturer came from the yeshiva.  No one wanted to listen to him.  Suddenly, he screamed at them, “If you don’t want to be Avraham, then don’t be Terach!”  Then all of them were aroused and did teshuva.  He came to Kfar Hasidim, they told us this story, how he managed to arouse them.  A person doesn’t want to be Avraham – don’t be Avraham.  Fine, it’s impossible to be Avraham.  It’s difficult.  But Terach?!  To be Terach!?  There’s no middle!  Either Avraham or Terach – decide!  Decide what you want – there’s no middle.  Either I’ll go to the end [and] be Avraham Avinu, or you want to [go] backwards [and] to be Terach.

The most modern person was Avraham.  He was truly modern.  He was modern, broke the idols.  After this, Nimrod threw him into the fire.  He [Avraham] said, “This isn’t fire, this is just an illusion.  This doesn’t burn at all.  I put my hand in the fire” – he put his finger in – “this doesn’t burn.  What sort of fire is this?  There’s sorcery here, or deceivers.  I thought that there would be a true fire.”  He waited for there to be a fire.  Then he asked Haran, “And what do you say?”  He said, “[If] Avraham jumps [in], also I will jump [in].”  So therefore he merited that Rivka, Sarah, Rachel, and Leah [would be his descendants – through his daughter Milcah].  However, he jumped into the fire.  He thought that also the fire wouldn’t burn him, but only Avraham the fire didn’t burn.  Whoever is a Tzaddik, the fire doesn’t burn him.  He can enter the fire.

Like Rabbi Akiva — even combs of iron.  Then they said to him, “Rebbe, enough – say ‘and you shall love’ – ‘You shall love Hashem your G-d.’”  This is [the final letters] of “TaKeH [one of the names in the Name of 72],” like “Etzion Gaver” – this comes out exactly as “Takeh.”  “Etzion” is 220, and “Gaver” is 205 – 425 = “Takeh.”  That whoever says this name “Takeh,” he wipes out all the enemies; not one remains living.  Then they said to him [Rabbi Akiva’s students when he said “Shema Yisrael”], “Say ‘You shall love Hashem your G-d,’ final letters ‘Takeh’ – nothing will remain of the enemies.”  Rabbi Akiva said, “I’m waiting for this 120 years” – he was the age of 120.  “All the days of my life I was troubled – when would this verse come to my hand [so that I could] fulfill it.”  Because a person needs to pray that he will live 120 years, [and] on the last day, the last minute, that he should merit to [die] in the sanctification of Hashem’s name.  Then the redemption will come, speedily in our days, Amen!

The shiur begins at timecode 1:15:40

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