Parshat Lech Lecha: ‘And your name will be glorified’

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Parshat Lech Lecha 5778. (Painting by Yehoshua Wiseman, www.yehoshuawiseman.com)

PARSHAT LECH LECHA: ‘AND YOUR NAME WILL BE GLORIFIED’

SECRETS OF THE TORAH, WITH RAV ELIEZER BERLAND, SHLITA

“Go forth from your land, from your birthplace and from the house of your fathers, to the land that I will show you… and your name will be glorified.”

“And your name will be glorified” – this hints to the study of Shas, because שמך (your name) in gematria is 360, and ש”ס (Shas) in gematria is also 360.

We need to know that if a person doesn’t study Shas, he has nothing. He doesn’t have a tzelem elokim (the image of God), where not even talking about a human being. A man’s whole name, his whole essence, is built from the study of Shas. The whole person – it’s only the Shas!

And this is what Hashem promised to Avraham Avinu ‘and your name will be glorified’, meaning that his descendants should be busy learning Torah and studying Shas, and should only be called ‘simple’, as it’s written: ‘Praiseworthy are the simple [people[, who go in the way of Hashem’s Torah’[1].

Simplicity occurs only when a person learns Shas. The Rebbe brought down in Lesson 1 [of Likutey Moharan]:

“Know, by way of the Torah, all the prayers and requests are accepted. When we make requests and pray, then the grace and the importance of Israel will rise up and be revealed…both in spirituality and gashmiut (materialism).”

OUR PRAYERS ARE ONLY ANSWERED WHEN WE LEARN TORAH

Our prayers and requests are only accepted by way of Torah. Whenever a person sees that his prayers aren’t being answered, it’s because he’s not learning enough Shas. All the grace and the importance of Israel depends upon the study of Shas, because the Torah is called a ‘beloved woman, gracious woman’, that gives grace to its study.

The Torah really gives grace to a person! When he goes home after he merits to learn torah, and he’s full of grace, his wife will see that he has grace and charm, and that the Shechina dwells on him, so there is happiness in that home.

But if he goes home without any Torah, and without any grace, and goes home broken, or aggravated, so then there is no happiness in a house like that.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ISRAEL HAS FALLEN, BECAUSE OF OUR MANY SINS

And now, because of our many sins, the grace and the importance of Israel has fallen. Today, the essence of importance is found by the goyim, and by the evil-doers, and this is only because of one reason: that we aren’t studying enough Shas!

“For a Jewish man always need to study the intelligence contained in everything, and to connect himself to the wisdom and the intelligence that exists within everything, in order to be enlightened by the intelligence that is contained in every thing, because intelligence is a huge light that will illuminate his every path.”

True intelligence is only to be found in the study of Shas; besides this, there is no other intelligence in the whole world. Intelligence is the only thing that illuminates a person and directs him. A person needs to ensure that his intelligence lights him up and goes with him, lights him up, and expands…

A person’s whole work is only to expand his intelligence, and according to how much he expands his intelligence and his study of Shas, that’s how much he builds the Beit HaMikdash (Temple). If we want to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash, and to hasten the geula (redemption). We need to expand our intelligence, and to expand our daat (internalized knowledge), as Chazal says:

“Everyone who possesses daat, it’s as though the Beit HaMikdash was built in his days.”

THE MOMENT SOMEONE LEARNS SHAS, THE DARK SIDE WILL FALL

And according to how much we expand our daat, and our intelligence, that’s how much he builds the Beit HaMikdash. And the Beit HaMikdash hasn’t been rebuilt only because we aren’t learning Shas with proper consideration, and plumbing its depth.

Today, if we want to build out Beit (home; Temple) that’s simply only going to happen by learning Shas. The moment someone learns Shas, the Sitra Achra (dark side) will fall. We need to sharpen our intellect. A person’s work is to sharpen their intellect, and to learn Torah – in order to acquire a fast, sharp mind, the sort of sharp mind that Rabbenu speaks about: “It’s a big mitzvah to sharpen the intellect.”

The Chesed L’Avraham says that there are 10 screens covering the mind, 10 klipot over the mind, and that each of us needs to remove these klipot, to sharpen them, to clean them, and this only occurs by way of studying Shas with the proper consideration, and plumbing its depths.

BRESLOV AND GEMARA ARE THE SAME THING

People need to know that Breslov and Gemara are really the same thing. The point of Breslov is that we conduct ourselves according to what is written, and not according to our feelings and ideas, and not according to what is comfortable for us…. We need to listen to the voice of the Tzaddikim, to the voice of our holy shepherds.

If you’re a Breslov chassid, then you need to listen to the Likutey Moharan – and the first thing that’s written in Likutey Moharan, Lesson 1, is that a person should have an intellect, that he should learn Shas, and that only this is called ‘acting with simplicity’.

Praiseworthy are those who go in the simple paths of Hashem’s Torah!

People should know that Breslov chassidut doesn’t come to nullify even the tip of one ‘yud’, or any minhag (religious custom) of Am Yisrael, or anything that is accepted by Am Yisrael. It only comes to add things, to add more yirat shemayim (fear of Heaven), more guarding of the eyes, more holiness.

A PERSON HAS HERESY IN HIS HEART

A person has apikorsus, heresy in his heart, he doesn’t believe that Hashem is really standing in front of him at every second. Whenever a person can’t concentrate on his prayers, and doesn’t feel that Hashem is standing before him, this is because he has heresy in his heart, and he doesn’t believe that Hashem really exists.

When a person talks to his friend, he carefully thinks about every word that leaves his mouth, and especially if it’s a king, he’s even more careful that he shouldn’t be caught saying something wrong, chas v’shalom, or something inappropriate.

When he speaks to his friend, he doesn’t say things stam, meaninglessly. He can carry on talking for 10 hours, because he sees that there’s ‘a person’ in front of him, with a face, with hands, with legs.

Hashem is chai v’kiyam! (He lives and exists). He’s present here, in front of us, and we don’t feel Him. This shows us that we don’t have an intellect, we don’t have a mind. When a person can’t feel Hashem, and can’t concentrate on his prayers, this is only because he lacks an intellect. It’s like those illnesses when people lose their intellect, and can’t even recognize their own parents, this is also how it is for a person who doesn’t have an intellect.

He doesn’t have any Torah, and he can’t recognize his own father and mother, i.e. Hakadosh Baruch hu. If a person could somehow arrange an ‘intellect’ transplant for himself… but they still don’t know how to do a brain transplant.

Rabbenu HaKadosh (Rebbe Nachman) tells us that we only receive an intellect, we only get a brain, by way of studying Shas in depth, and learning Torah. When we learn Torah, we merit to nullify the heresy that’s in our hearts, and to really feel Hashem – and then [we also merit to have] importance, and that our prayers and requests should be accepted.

[1] Psalm 119

Translated from the ‘Tzama Nafshi’ newsletter.

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