Rav Moshe Tzanani: ‘The Sitra Achra knows that all of the redemption depends on Rav Berland, and that’s why he’s making all of these terrible tests.’

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(translated from the Hebrew Knishta Chada pamphlet Nissan 5776)

Rabbi Moshe Tzanani is one of the most respected, elder students of Rav Berland. Recently he spoke to us, and shared some enlightening thoughts about the situation of the Rav:

There goes before us a General like this, a true Tzaddik. He is leading everything,” began Rav Tzanani.

“When Am Yisrael was about to enter Eretz Yisrael, Hashem raised up all of the people and subdued them before Moshe Rabbenu. It’s written in the Zohar: ‘in the great and terrible wilderness which you saw’, which is understood to mean that ‘you saw the Samech Mem (Satan) subued before the camp of Israel.’

 We have no conception of the true power of the Tzaddik. Everything is like a child’s game for him; everything is prepared and arranged for him, and set out before him.

A few years ago when Rav Berland returned from his trip to northern Israel, someone with him was nervous about what awaits them. The Rav asked him ‘how many future moves do you calculated ahead?’ His attendant answered him ‘two or three’. But the Rav told his attendant that he calculates at least 300 possible moves at any given moment going into the future so he has nothing to worry about. [This can be understood as a chess player who, before making a move, takes into calculation all possible countermoves of his opponents, sometimes a good player can calculate 2 or 3 of his moves ahead with all of the possible reactions of his opponents and multitude of effects it will have to everything on board. But for someone to take into account 300 future moves knowing exactly how he will respond to each possible reaction at every given stage, is pure genius. And when dealing with the ‘chess game’ of life where there is not just one other person involved, rather everything a person does effects a multitude of people and reactions, being able to plan so far ahead in incomprehensible, an above-human ability. This shows us that even if sometimes it looks like things are going wrong, in truth everything is clearly calculated and under control – part of a master plan.]

The Tzaddik is leading everything, but we need to do our part.

We need to fulfill what the Rav has commanded us to do, namely: pray, say the Tikkun haklali as required, etc, because everything that the Rav does, it’s only in order to sweeten the judgments hanging over Am Yisrael. The Rav is completely sacrificing his body and soul for Am Yisrael, and we do not know what will be, and how it will be. We just know that we’re in good hands, and that it will all turn out to be the best that it could possibly be.

In truth, the final redemption will occur when everything gets ‘turned around’. Everything will turn around from one side to the other, because this is the end. The world has never endured such difficult days, spiritually, like these, with all the tests and the great battles that each of us is enduring. The Sitra Achra knows that this is the end, and that’s why it’s waging all of its terrible spiritual wars, particularly against the Tzaddikim.

The Sitra Achra knows that the whole redemption depends on Rav Berland, and that’s why it’s made all of these terrible tests. But, it’s not going to make any difference to the final outcome; the Tzaddik will continue to go higher and higher spiritually, together with the Jewish people. It’s written that [at the time of the Purim story], Haman HaRasha wanted to cause a separation between Mordechai the Tzaddik and Am Yisrael, and that if he would have succeeded, God forbid, there would have been a terrible holocaust.

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[Haman wanted] “To destroy, kill and wipe out” the Jewish people.

That was the decree of destruction that got cancelled.

Despite his great strength, the Tzaddik needs to receive his power from Am Yisrael. If Am Yisrael are with him, and believe in him, and listen to him, and do those things which he tells them to do, then this is an aspect of: ‘Give your strength to your rulers’. (Tehillim 68). Despite the fact that spiritually, we’re nothing compared to the Rav, nonetheless, he still needs our spiritual efforts to continue.

Rebbe Nachman once exclaimed that it wasn’t at all surprising that the Baal Shem Tov had merited to reach such amazingly high spiritual levels, when you consider the devotion of his students.  Therefore, we need to beg Hashem to help us to cling to the Rav.

A little while after Rebbe Nachman died, his daughter dreamt that her father was trying to get into the local synagogue, but that rows and rows of people were blocking his path. In the dream, she saw that Rebbe Nachman continued to walk forward in any case, even though in front of him there were people calling out to him ‘you will not pass!’ Rebbe Nachman continued walking forward, nevertheless, and the man moved. And this happened with all the others who were blocking the way, too, until Rabbenu finally got into the shul and sat down in his chair.

So too, with the final redemption. Whilst the Sitra Achra is currently making a lot of noise and shouting, eventually the Tzaddik is going to break through, and to sit on the chair. And then, there will be the complete redemption, and we will merit great wonders.

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