Moshe Prepared the Jewish Women First
(Teachings From Rav Berland Shlit”a on parshas Yisro)
Before the giving of the Torah Hashem (G-d) said to Moshe, “At this time, tell the Nation of Israel in these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov) and you will speak firmly to the sons of Israel.” Hashem said to Moshe, “This time we are not going to make the same mistake of what happened during the time of the creation. When I initially said the first commandment to Adam and then Adam said it over to Eve, and she did not understand Adam’s words. This misunderstanding caused death to be decreed for all the generations, so this time I (G-d) am going to do the opposite.” As it is written, “In these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov),” firstly assemble all the women, call out to all the women of Israel and speak before them fiery words and explain to them about the giving of the Torah. Explain to them that now with the giving of the Torah, the Nation of Israel is leaving the physical world, leaving their vices behind and their bodies are changing – everything is changing. First, prepare the women before the men.
A woman’s simplicity is much greater than a man’s simplicity, and a woman’s emunah (faith – belief) is much greater than a man’s emunah. Therefore, firstly “In these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov).” Firstly, Moshe assembled all the women of Israel, and spoke with them fiery words on the greatness of the giving of the Torah and explained to the women what someone merits by receiving the Torah; through Torah exists the possibility of becoming a glowing shining sun the shines forth from one end of the universe to the other. This is possible with the Torah since the Torah allows someone to rid himself of his vices and his bad character traits and all his nonsensical behavior. After Moshe spoke with Beis Yaakov, “in these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov),” after this Moshe assembled the men, “and you will speak firmly to the sons of Israel.”
Truthfully, since Moshe assembled the women before he assembled the men not a single woman sinned during the sin of the Golden Calf. The first words Moshe said, “In these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov)” these initial words burned deep down into the women’s hearts. Moshe’s instructions through his fiery words penetrated down to the women’s bones and nothing could disrupt a woman’s service of Hashem (G-d) during the times when the Nation of Israel began to get confused. Like when Moshe did not come down from Mount Sinai and everyone got worried since Moshe is not coming down on time. Even if they have made the correct calculation what does it matter if Moshe arrives a day late, so Moshe wants another day to learn Torah in Heaven with Hashem, what is the big deal? The truth is that the Nation of Israel miscalculated the days, but even if they had not, if Moshe will arrive not on the fortieth day so he will arrive on the forty first day, the forty second day, there is no need to be worried, we will wait patiently for Moshe’s arrival.
Shaul lost his whole kingdom and the merit of ruling over the whole World because he did not wait for Shmuel. If Shual had waited for Shmuel another twenty minutes Shual would have become the king of the entire World. Any person that can wait patiently just another twenty minutes will become the king over the entire World…wait patiently another hour, even just one more day. Since a person that can wait patiently is able to merit a kingdom ruling over the entire World. Yet while Moshe was up on Mount Sinai the Nation of Israel were short of breath just like during the Exodus of Egypt, “And they did not hear Moshe from their shortness of breath and back breaking work,” and Rabeinu (Rebbe Nachman of Breslov) says, “that ‘shortness of breath’ this is lacking emunah.”
“In these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov) and you will speak firmly to the sons of Israel,” and from this verse it is said, “the redemption will come in the merit of the righteous women.” Just like the women in the Exodus from Egypt were the only ones that truly had emunah (faith – belief) in Moshe, their emunah in Moshe was so strong they took out drums and danced after crossing the Red Sea, and because of this the women did not sin at all. The men only sang after crossing the Red Sea but the women had much more joy and emunah so they went out and danced as it is written, “And all the women went out with drums and dancing.” The men solemnly stood and sang without drums and without dancing. And according to one’s happiness and one’s enthusiasm for holy things, this is what protects him during the difficult times. The women were joyously enthusiastic for the splitting of the sea and for the giving of the Torah, and this initial joyous enthusiasm stood for them and guarded them from transgressing any sin; the women did not sin during the Golden Calf and did not sin during the Spies excursion into Eretz Yisrael. The women did not fall or even stumble, but rather the men fell and slipped up in all sorts of ways. The woman, she is the unshakeable one! She is the foundation of the home! She keeps the home, she GUARDS the home, and she merits the true giving of the Torah within the home.
All the Jewish souls were present when the Torah was received, yet specifically the women merited to receive the Torah more so than the men and the proof is that the women did not fall into any sins after receiving the Torah. The women did not take part in the sin of the Golden Calf and not in the sin of the Spies, and not any of the sins mentioned in the book of Bamidbar since the women did not fall into any sin or transgression after receiving the Torah. This is the merit of this verse “In these words and in this order; you will speak softly to the women (Beis Yaakov),” that the righteous women of each generation, they preserve the Nation of Israel to this day. The woman to this day guards her husband, her home, she keeps the Shabbos and she reminds her husband to sing the holy songs of Shabbos. She guards the holiness of the Shabbos table! Only in the merit of the righteous women did the nation of Israel merit the redemption and now we should merit to be redeemed in our generation and to see the coming of the Mashiach (the anointed one) speedily in our days…AMEN!
A Prayer for Receiving the Torah: Ribono Shel Oylam – Master of the Universe, Master of the whole entire World, may it be your will before you Hashem my Lord the G-d of my fathers, that you should give me the merit to cleave to the words of your Torah, and open my heart and my mind until I will merit to hear and to understand in my heart every single word of your holy and pure Torah. May I merit extreme pleasure from the light of your secrets and to glow from the shining of your face until I will become completely disgusted and sickened with my life in this physical world, with my vices, and my nonsense. May my life in this World become completely nullified due to the incredible pleasure, joy, and delight I have from your holy and incredible words of Torah. May it be your will before you Hashem my Lord and the G-d of my fathers, that you should help me and you should give me the merit, in your abundant kindness and mercy to learn and to teach and to deal in your holy Torah for your name’s sake always, and to learn Torah day and night. We should merit to separate away our nonsensical behaviors and bad character traits and all our negativity, so that there will not be any evil forces at all to confuse our peaceful mindset, rather through the Torah may we destroy and send off all the evil forces connected to us, and please awaken within in us a deep love for your holy Torah. On Chol HaMoed Pesach on one of the first days of Sefiras HaOmer, a dear friend asked Rav Succot to take him to Rav Berland Shlit”a for advice. This friend struggled with difficult issues and other rabbis could not help him, so he wanted to carry out the words of Rabeinu and find the greatest rav he could since Rebbe Nachman explains, “the farther a person is from Hashem (G-d), the greater his rabbi needs to be.” So Rav Succot took his dear friend to the Rav’s house that evening which was at the time in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. When they arrived, the house was quiet, there were two Ger Chassidim speaking to the Rav and the Rav’s mother was there too. The Rabbaneat (the wife of the Rav) had left to give a Torah class for women in Bene Brak. The Ger Chassidim finished talking with the Rav and left, and the Rav received Rav Succot’s friend privately in the Rav’s study room, a small room off to the side. The Rav sat with Rav Succot’s friend for about a half hour and when his friend opened the door to leave the Rav’s study, Rav Succot saw his face was glowing, his face was beaming, his face was shining – he had received the exact piece of advice he needed. The Rav stood in his study facing Rav Succot and Rav Succot unexpectedly asked, “Has the Rav eaten anything yet today?” The Rav replied, “I need to count the Omer first.” The Rav begin preparing himself for Sefiras HaOmer and Rav Succot entered the Rav’s study and stood near the Rav. The Rav made the blessing and counted the Omer, and then began saying the Pslams and Tefilos (prayers) after counting the Sefira. When the Rav reached the final prayer that begins, ‘Ribono Shel Olam…’ he began to say it with the most beautiful and profound Nigun (melody – tune) that completely shatters one’s heart. Rav Succot was drawn deep into the words of this prayer as the Rav sang them, and Rav Succot realized this Mitzvah (the commandment of Sefiras HaOmer) is a from Moshe and when the Rav prayed the words, “Moshe your servant” Rav Succot felt Moshe alive in the Rav’s study. As the Rav continued with this prayer, Rav Succot began to feel all the evil forces that ever were attached to him and that ever will be attached him. This awareness of these evil forces caused Rav Succot to fall into a deep embarrassment and he wanted to bury himself far away from everyone, but on the other hand, he did not want to leave the Rav’s side. Rav Succot began trying to disappear into the wall of the study next to the Eternal Candle that the Rav would light for Rabeinu. The Rav continued praying the “Ribono Shel Olam” prayer with this sweet, awe-inspiring, and extremely scary Niggun and when the Rav reached the words, “And the Sefira should be a remedy to fix one’s Nefesh (lower soul), Ruach (middle soul), and Neshama (higher soul)”…Rav Succot felt his Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama being fixed with the words of the Rav. It was painful like a spiritual surgery coupled with the embarrassment of all the evil forces he felt as well. The prayer was almost over, and Rav Succot was extremely relieved as the Rav finished the final words of the prayer. However, once the Rav finished, he immediately started the same prayer with the same Niggun again from the beginning. Rav Succot struggled to stay conscious as the whole energy of this Tefilah with the Rav began again, and again, and again. Rav Succot glanced at his watch and saw the Rav had been continually reciting this prayer for 45 minutes when all of sudden, there was commotion in the Rav’s home. The Rabbaneat had returned home early since she did not feel well and ended up not traveling to Bene Brak. The Rav heard the Rabbaneat coming and quickly finished the prayer without any Niggun, he grabbed a Torah book and opened it and sat down at his study table. Rav Succot sat down beside him just as the Rabbaneat walked into the Rav’s study. The Rav made it appear to her as if he and Rav Succot had been learning all this time. The Rabbaneat gave the Rav a sign to finish up and the Rav motioned back to her that he and Rav Succot were in the middle of deep learning and needed a few more minutes to finish up. The Rabbaneat left the room and Rav Succot and the Rav sat there learning as if they had been learning the whole time, and then after a few more minutes the Rabbaneat came back into the Rav’s study and made a strong gesture for Rav Succot and the Rav to stop learning. The Rav gestured back that he was finished now and he and Rav Succot learned another line and then closed the book, and that was it. [This story I heard from Rav Succot himself]
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov writes, “The Niggun of the Tzadik of the Generation is the head of emunah.” Meaning, “Through the Niggun of the great and true Tzadik, the Tzadik is able to bring up all the souls,” since emunah (faith-belief) in Hashem is how the soul rises up. Furthermore, Rebbe Nosson of Breslov teaches, “revealing emunah is through the power of the Niggun,” just like the women of Israel, since “their emunah in Moshe was so strong they took out drums and danced after crossing the Red Sea, and because of this the women did not sin at all. The men only sang after crossing the Red Sea but the women had much more joy and emunah so they went out and danced as it is written, “And all the women went out with drums and dancing.” The Rav explains, “through songs and melodies Moshe brought all the wicked Jewish people out of their heresy and through his Niggun he saved the entire Nation of Israel.” Sing your song and melodies to Hashem, seek out and connect to the Niggun of the Tzadikim of the Generation. Take advantage of the last weeks of the Month of Shevat since the Rav wrote, “The month of Shevat is the month of Niggunim (melodies and song).” Build your emunah in Hashem with dancing and melodies to Hashem, and may we all merit to connect to the Niggun of the Tzadik of the Generation, each Jew in his way, like Rav Succot did in the Rav’s study.
What is the first Jewish Law in this week’s Parsha commanded to the Jewish people at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai? The first Mitzvah is “the commandment to have emunah (faith – belief) in the existence of Hashem (G-d).” And this Mitzvah of having emunah in the existence of Hashem is, “the foundation of the Jewish religion, and a Jew that does not have emunah is a complete heritic and does not have any portion with the nation of Israel.” Isn’t having emunah more of an ethical (mussar) concept? No! Having “emunah in the existence of Hashem (G-d)” is a Jewish law. The Sefer HaChinuch explains, “This mitzvah is preformed in every place, and in every time by males and females…since every day of a person’s life he is obligated to live with thoughts of emunah in the existence of Hashem.” And the Chafetz Chayim references this Jewish Law in his practical Jewish Law book, the Mishnah Brurah and writes, “To have emunah that there is one G-d in the World…this is a positive- commandment.”
Is it permissible for men and women to eat together at a Wedding or Sheva Brachos? No, they should not eat in the same room. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch explains, “It is necessary to be careful for men and women NOT TO EAT in the same room, because if men and women eat in the same room we do not say, “Shehasimcha Bimayono” because there is no happiness in a place where the evil inclination has taken over.” Therefore, when men and women eat in the same room, this room becomes a place ruled by the evil inclination and that is not a happy circumstance.
Dedications for Parshas Yisro: HaRav Eliezer Ben Etyah and the Rabbaneat Shlit”a, Hezkie!, Rav Eliyahu Ben Odel Rut, Yehudah Aryeh Ben Brendel, Ester Rachel Bas Nurit
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