The Daily Chizzuk of our Rebbe, the Gaon and Tzaddik, Rabbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a – Every Baal Teshuva (returnee to Torah and Judaism) merited to a revelation of Hashem face-to-face
Tuesday, 10 Elul 5782 – The melody that he heard when he was a child returned him to Judaism in the end from the other side of the world.
These are his holy words:
A person needs to be a slave of Hashem. A person [who] already made teshuva (repentance) needs to continue and to be a slave of Hashem.
Hashem was revealed to the baal teshuva. Every baal teshuva is a revelation face-to-face, a revelation of Godliness. Every baal teshuva needs to know exactly how he returned in repentance, what caused him — what?
There is baaley teshuva who were the wealthiest and they had all good without any crises. True, there are those baaley teshuva who were pressed into all types of places and then returned in repentance. However, there are those baaley teshuva who had only good, only abundance.
For instance, “Stalker” had everything. He already went to make a film about the Carmel, about Haifa. He was supposed to receive billions for this. He didn’t know anything about Judaism. He only remembered that they were once going to “Kol Nidrei” of Yom Kippur.
They were Hilonim (secular Jews), Hilonim who lived in Haifa. They had a record store, but for Kol Nidrei they would go to the synagogue. In Kol Nidrei, they would stand outside the synagogue, hear the melody of Kol Nidrei, and return home. This is what he knew. He didn’t know that there is Shabbat, he didn’t know that there is Kashrut. He didn’t know anything.
Today, they raise children who don’t even know that there is Torah. They see us as primitive people, cave-dwellers: those religious Chareidim are ruining the country for us! [The secular] want it to be a country only of abominations. [They say that] it’s totally impossible to stand up to tests, because even the angels didn’t stand up [to them].
This “Stalker” went to swim in the ocean. It was already sunset, and he remained in the ocean in Los Angeles. He was swimming in the water only with a swimsuit, without a shirt. He’s swimming in the ocean, what fun to swim in the ocean. Suddenly, near the beach he hears the melody of Kol Nidrei – this is the only thing he knows from the whole Torah.
He runs toward the melody. He hears the melody that he is familiar with since birth, because this is what his parents would do. On Yom Kippur they would go to Kol Nidrei, stand outside, and hear the melody of the cantor – this was the melody which was etched into him. He sees some caravan, some wooden hut on the beach and inside it are elderly Jews, Holocaust survivors. All of them are crying – such a Kol Nidrei…
He stood with his swimsuit outside the window spellbound – spellbound by the melody, spellbound by those who were crying.
He hadn’t seen a sight like this in his life, such a revelation of Godliness – suddenly he sees that there is Hashem in the world, face-to-face. There is Hashem, there is a greater pleasure in the world than swimming. There is a greater pleasure than being there on the sea. There is something supreme, something which is higher than all understanding, than all that he learned in his life, than all that he enjoyed in his life.
He took another two years, but he immediately gave notice that he is voiding this contract. He acted like a crazy person, had a contract of a million dollars do make a film about the whole Carmel, the whole mountain from top to bottom. He gave up everything, said, “I’m packing and returning tomorrow to the Land of Israel.”
There are multitudes of baaley teshuva who returned from amidst the good, from amidst wealth, who swam in a sea of cream, in a sea of milk, in a sea of honey, like the babies [in Egypt] who swam in a sea of honey. A person needs to be a slave of Hashem.