“The Jewish people are descendants of the holiest — children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov — there’s no sinners, no rebels, no secular. On Yom Kippur everyone unites, everyone prays.
The holy words of our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a from a shiur given over on Tuesday, parashas Shoftim, 3 Elul 5776 in Tzalmon prison.
“I was a child — nine, ten. I remember that they broke into the Great Synagogue — broke the windows, broke the doors, because they distributed tickets and they didn’t consent to this. So they broke windows, broke the doors. This so impressed me how the Jewish people are alive — how completely secular people who ate non-kosher the entire year are breaking down the doors, breaking everything, coming in through the roof — all of this was in the Great Synagogue.
“There was Rabbi Kuperstock in Herzliya who would cry with such weeping that you never saw in your life. Kuperstock was such a tzaddik, like there wasn’t from the creation of the world. His weeping on Rosh Hashana would melt every heart. All the secular people would come to hear his prayers. Rav Kuperstock is the tzaddik in whose merit I did teshuva — in his merit I became a Breslover Chasid. He said that only Rebbe Nachman is the tzaddik of the generation.
“Rabbeinu explains in Torah 279 [of Likutey Moharan] that on Yom Kippur all the lights illuminate, on Yom Kippur all the sefiros, all the lights from the creation of the world, because we are building vessels for the light of the Infinite. The most lowly Jew is more of a tzaddik than the most righteous gentile. He says, ‘Shelo anani goy’ — Who didn’t make me a gentile. A Jew who murdered and did whatever he did — this is all external, external. And the gentile always regrets his good deeds — he only does this outwardly.
“When Yom Kippur arrives… we are now 40 days before — the first nesirah [the beginning of the unification of the masculine and feminine aspects] is on Rosh Hashana. By the Rebbe this begins on Rosh Hashana eve with the slichos. By the Rebbe, everything begins from the first day of slichos. On Rosh Hashana eve, the Rebbe already sweetens [the judgements for] everyone, brings everyone over to the Book of Life.
“Rabbi Eliyahu Lupian in Kfar Hasidim explained that a person thinks that Rosh Hashana went by okay, but if he wasn’t by the tzaddik, then they take off years from his life. He’s 20 — every year they take off ten years. At the age of 40, 50-60, he already goes. He doesn’t understand that already they took off one time — a year; one time — a half-year, one time — two years. How does a person know if his sins are forgiven? He thinks that he’s alive. Because a person needs to live 120 — 120 years is a verse, a scriptural decree, and he needs to live all 120. Yom Kippur arrives.
“We’re already coming to the first day of slichos, from the new moon. One who immersed in Miriam’s well at the new moon, then Miriam is at the head of the camp — remember, remember, don’t forget — ‘Remember what Hashem your G-d did to Miriam on the way’ (Devarim 24:9). The Likut Shimoni and all the Midrashim say: What is ‘remember’? That Miriam spoke lashon hara — slander? G-d forbid. She only wanted to save her brother. A sister hears that her brother is dead, then she goes to save her brother. She jumps into the water with her clothes to save her brother.
“The reason that she thought that Moshe would die was that Eldad and Medad ran throughout the camp and shouted ‘Moshe is dead.’ Until a person receives prophecy, it’s forbidden for him to say the prophecy, but the prophet just goes out of his mind. The prophet begins to scream the prophecy. He runs in the streets. He goes out of his mind. The prophet doesn’t know what is being done with him. It’s written in Pirkey D’Rabbi Eliezer that the prophet goes out of his mind and begins to shout the prophecy. He runs in the streets. The prophecy of Yirmiyahu — they want to hang him, to put him in a pit, but he doesn’t know at all what’s being done with him.”
Edited and translated from the Shevivi Or newsletter — 058-328-9318