Captivity is Worse than Death – Rabbi Eliezer Berland Shlit”a

Why does Eliyahu come to all the Britot?

“When there is no sin and no evil inclination, the body shines more than the sun”

“The war today is the cruelest war”

“For what a person sins due to his inherent evil inclination, there is no punishment.  The punishment is only for what he adds.”

Moreinu HaRav Eliezer Berland shlit”a’s holy words on 15 Kislev:

At this moment (15 Kislev), the war has been put off for another four days.

It is written in the Radbaz (Siman 40) that captivity is worse than death.  This is hellish torment; they are both torturing them and also they don’t know when they will be freed.  Captivity is something which has no end – this is awful torture, every second torture of the body and soul.  Therefore, the girls need to entirely cover their legs until the ankles, because these are not the legs that Hashem created us with.

Hashem created us with legs which shine like the sun – “The fleshy part of Adam’s heel,” also Chava’s, “outshined the globe of the sun” (Midrash Mishlei).  The body of Adam and Chava shined more than the sun.  When there is no sin and no evil inclination, the body shines more than the sun.  The face of Chava shined with 360 thousand multitudes (3,600,000,000) of lights.  Adam shined less than half of this – only 150 thousand multitudes (1,500,000,000).

Chava shined from one end of the world to the other; so the moment that Sarah was born, her face shined from one end of the world to the other.  Therefore, a man needs to fight his evil inclination from the day that he is born, “For the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” – the moment that he emerges from his mother’s womb.

 “Behold, in iniquity was I fashioned, and in sin my mother conceived me” – David says, “I was born in iniquity, in sin.”  For what a person sins due to his inherent evil inclination, there is no punishment for that.  The punishment is only for what he adds:  he buys a smartphone, he buys a Xiaomi.  The day that he throws it away, Hashem atones everything for him.  Therefore, all the boys and girls – everyone – [need to] be careful with modesty.  The boys [should] not go with short pants.

The war that there is today is the cruelest war.  From the age of ten, I am already used to wars.  When I was the age of ten, there was the first war in Israel [the 1948 Independence War].  Every day, there were only pogroms.  In 5689 (1929), there were pogroms.  In 5680 (1920), there were pogroms.  Every year, there were pogroms here.  Hundreds of Jews died in pogroms.  Now there are no longer pogroms, but there are cruel wars that are even worse than pogroms.

The Jews are being cut into tiny pieces in the pogroms which Hamas are doing to us, and a person [is saved from this] only through breaking their Xiaomi and smartphone.  Every girl should cover her legs, and every boy should go with long pants and not tight-fitting ones.

Because of sin, the body becomes dark.  This is the “garments of skin” with which Hashem created us after the sin when Adam listened to the voice of the serpent.  All that a person hears whispered to him is the voice of the serpent; he must deal with it for 120 years.

Even Chanoch was in danger of sinning. Hashem took him [from this world] and he became the angel Metat – a person who stands up in a test [can] become the angel “Metat,” and he is greater than the angels.  He can become the angel “Metat,” the angel “Sandal.”

Eliyahu HaNavi is the angel “Sandal”; he comes to all the Britot.  Why does he come to all the Britot?  The “Sulam” says: In order to receive the mouth of Moshe Rabbeinu – “Mouth to mouth do I speak to him” (Bamidbar 12:8).  “What are you doing here (PoH), Eliyahu?” – [this implies] “do you want the mouth (PeH) of Moshe?”

Eliyahu says, “I fasted forty days; I deserve something.”  [God answered him,] “You don’t deserve anything” says the [author of] “Yad HaMelech,” the grandson of the Noda B’Yehuda. “Eliyahu, you don’t deserve anything.  Even if you fasted a million days, a trillion days, you cannot change a single letter in the Torah, a single crownlet [of a letter] in the Torah.  If a person changes a single crownlet, the Torah scroll is invalid.  You cannot change any letter.”

It is written, “Do not stray after your heart or after your eyes” – this is from the moment that a person is born.  Five times a day, we say, “Do not stray after your heart or after your eyes”: in the recitation of Shema of the Korbanot; after this, in the recitation of Shema of “Yotzer”; after this, in the recitation of Shema of Tefilin of Rabbeinu Tam; in the recitation of Shema of Ma’ariv; and in the end, in the bedtime recitation of Shema.  Five times we scream with all our strength; this is the war of 24 hours a day until the age of 120.

May everyone live a long life in the merit that he is in Shuvu Banim.  May everyone complete his 120 years and live until 180 like Yitzchak. 

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