Rav Shimon Badani Shlit”a’s Exciting Visit to Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit”a

The Gaon Rav Shimon Badani shlit”a, the Rosh Kollel of Torah V’Hayim in Bnei Brak and member of the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah (the Torah Sages Council) came to visit our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a at his home on HaHoma HaShlishit St. in Jerusalem – Shushan Purim Katan 5782.  The visit was mamash testimony to the conversation of two Tzaddikim and Torah scholars whose entire involvement is in the holy Torah.  During the visit, you hear Rav Badani tell Rav Berland about a Torah insight that he had, and the Rav answers him with sources as the conversation ascends to depths about Purim and the Talmudic tractate Chullin — “Its sharpness precedes its heat”

Rav Badani asks Rav Berland: “Behold, I heard a new insight…  I’m looking for something.  I remember that once I saw this, this is such a wonder.  Hashem says to Avraham Avinu, ‘Know that your offspring will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs.’

“Why?  What happened?…  There is a very simple explanation.  In the Torah it’s written, ‘Hashem took you and removed you from the iron furnace, from Egypt.’  What is this ‘iron furnace’?

“The Zohar says that until Mount Sinai their contamination wasn’t terminated.  How was their contamination terminated?  Through their working backbreaking labor, all the filth and contamination left them.  Then at Mount Sinai, all the contamination was terminated.  I don’t remember where I saw this.  Hashem says that he wants his children to receive the Torah, but how will they receive it with all the contamination that they have in them?  The filth of the primordial serpent…on Hava.  Therefore, ‘Know that your offspring will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs.’  Rather you and your children will work backbreaking labor, and through this the contamination of the serpent will be cleansed.  Then they can receive Torah.  If so, the convert, who didn’t go through this cleansing, would have the contamination of the serpent, because he wasn’t at Mount Sinai.  However, the Kadosh Baruch Hu knows the hidden and saw that the soul of the convert will convert in the future, and He took it to Mount Sinai so that the contamination would go out.”

Rav Berland answers: “‘Those who are standing with us here today before Hashem our G-d, and those who are not standing here with us today’ – this is the verse that we learn it from.”

Rav Badani: “Yes, this is the verse that I was looking for.”

Rav Berland: “The root of everything is the Jewish root.  To all the gentiles there is the root of all the nations, ‘all dwellers of the earth shall recognize and know’ (from the Aleinu Leshabe’ach prayer).

“They said to Hagar, ‘you’ll have a son who’s a man-like donkey.’  How is it possible to bless a person, to announce to him something like this?  All the more so a poor woman like Hagar who Avraham drove away.  It says that because Avraham drove away, therefore, ‘when he sent them, he completely drove you out from there.’  Pharaoh drove the Jewish people out of Egypt and they didn’t leave with a settled mind.  The Rambam and Baal Turim bring this, ‘She said to Avraham, drive this maidservant out with her son, because the son of this maidservant won’t inherit with my son, with Yitzchak.’

“It’s written in the Zohar (Shemot 32) that Yishmael asked why he gave to his brother the Land of Israel.  Because he’s circumcised?  Also I’m circumcised.  The answer: because Yishmael was circumcised without priyah.  400 years he would accuse, because the Yishmaelim ruled in Israel for 400 years exactly.  400 from when the Turks conquered the Land of Israel.  This is exactly 400, from 1517 to 1917.  These were Ottomon Yishmaelim, Hashem help us.

“Today is Purim Katan.  There is an ascent for all the souls.  Purim Katan is two days.  In Gemara Megillah, Rabbi Eliezer berabi Yosi …  The Chatam Sofer says that we don’t pass over mitzvot.  We need to fulfill all the mitzvot on Purim Katan.  We don’t pass over mitzvot.  The Chatan Sofer says that from the Torah (D’Oraita) we need to eat something in honor of the Chag.  Simchah is obligatory.  Also giving Mishloach Manot.  It’s from the Torah to make a remembrance – from life to death.  The miracle of Purim is greater than the miracle of Egypt, because in Egypt there was backbreaking labor, but here [in Purim] there was a decree to kill, exterminate, and destroy.  So the miracle from death to life is from the Torah mamash.   The remembrance is from the Torah, but the lighting of Chanukah candles is Rabbinic.

“Why did the Sages establish Purim in Adar Bet?  You need to join redemption to redemption… the mitzvah of Megilah isn’t from the Torah; it’s Rabbinic.  So it’s possible to put this off to Adar Bet, but the simchah and the remembrance through eating something good needs to be set on the chosen day, redemption to redemption.  Therefore, from the Torah, it’s necessary to do something as a remembrance in Adar Alef.”

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Rav Badani: “Is his honor preparing this for Purim?”

Rav Berland: “Yes!  As it’s brought in Chullin…”

Rav Badani: “Does his honor agree with what I said myself about the Egyptian exile?  That the exile came to purify from the contamination of the serpent?”

Rav Berland: “Certainly, this is a completely new insight…  Rabbah asked Rabbi Zeira…  The author of Hafla’ah brings this, that Rabbi Zeira says that its sharpness precedes its heat, that if a person slaughters with a knife, the Rama disputes this, but we hold like the Shulchan Aruch, like the Rambam, that its sharpness precedes its heat, even in a moment – you need to do this very fast.

“This is the dispute between Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira…  Rabbi Zeira paskens in Chullin that its sharpness precedes its heat.  All of this is the statement of Rabbi Zeira.  Here Rabbah also slaughters Rabbi Zeira.  They wanted to see its sharpness beforehand… how this works exactly.  Rabbah took a heated knife…  This is the novelty of the Hafla’ah, who said this allegorically…  Why exactly did he slaughter him… the Shulchan Aruch brings in Yoreh Deah 9, that you need to this quickly?

“Rabbah arose and slaughtered Rabbi Zeira… why in Purim?  Because he knew that then he could revive him.  That beforehand he heated the knife and after this slaughtered him…  The author of Hafla’ah says that even though this is said as a joke, we learn it according to its simple meaning.

“The author of Hafla’ah, Rabbi Pinchas of Frankfurt, who was the brother of Rabbi Shmuel Shmelik Horowitz of Nickelsberg, said this as a joke for the simchah of Purim… a word of sharpness/humor.  Sharpness is learning a lot of Gemara.  Heat is when we are fiery in the service of Hashem.  This is when a person will be Breslov.  He already jumps on tables, dances in streets.  A person needs to be sharp.  Heat is fiery enthusiasm.  The fire is a ‘type of coin of fire which the Kadosh Baruch Hu took out from under His throne of glory and showed to Moshe.’  What is a ‘coin of fire’?

“Fill the moon.   We need to see, because we don’t know what size the moon is, every moment it changes.  But a coin…  we take a coin of ten shekels.  We need one of fire specifically to show to him?

“Rather, this comes to atone for idolatry and the sale of Yosef and alludes that every Jew is fire. It’s possible to return every Jew in teshuva.  If we merited, we would return all of the Jewish people in repentance.  Every Jew wants to return in repentance, only that they confuse them every day, saying that the rabbis are thieves, behold the rabbis are such-and-such.  It’s presented as if in Meah Shearim they throw rocks 24 hours [a day].

“Rabbah knew that Rabbi Zeira would die and be revived.  He revived him the following day.  This is also a question – how he left him dead for an entire day.  If a person dies, they bury him immediately.  Rabbeinu says that we don’t need to take a person to a cemetery at all; we need to bury him immediately.  It’s written that the dead person is a aggrieved.  He sees everything, he feels.  He can’t stand the embarrassment that he is dead and everyone is still alive.  He wants them to bury him on the spot, to dig under the bed and bury him.

“The Maharshah asks that if so, Rabbah needed to bury Rabbi Zeira.  Rather, this was 14th Adar, and he knew that the following day on 15th Adar, he would revive him.  He waited until the 15th, because then it’s possible to revive the dead.  On Purim Katan, it’s also possible to revive the dead.  Now it’s possible to revive the dead and to return all the people in repentance.  Now is a Temple of fire, that every Jew is fire.

“The Rambam (Hilchot Taharah) brings down that even if they cut a person’s two incision points [for a kosher slaughter]… we learn from this that regarding Kohanim, that if the Kohen needs to leave with a dead person… here is the book Daat Emunah about Taharah by Rav Chaim Kanievsky.  A person doesn’t die immediately…  A Kohen in the meantime can raise up his hands [to say the priestly blessing], to ascend to the Torah.  It’ll take him another 15 minutes until he dies, but it’s forbidden to move.  A person needs a settled mind and immediately the incisions are joined together.

“There was a story about a soldier who they fired upon and the two incision points were cut and immediately they closed them up.  They managed to close them up within two minutes.  One person saw them slaughter a dove and it continued to fly, because a person joined together the incision.”

Rav Badani: “The halachah requires the slaughterer to check the incision points before he throws the chicken.”

Rav Berland: “Yes, the Ketzot HaChoshen in 250 says from what point it’s considered dying.  Even if they cut the two incision points, this is nothing.  He can still give away an estate.  He’s still lucid.  This isn’t like a dying person…”

Rav Badani: “Now the Rav must continue the work of getting the Jewish people to do teshuva…  The Rambam says that the Jewish people aren’t redeemed except through teshuva.  There is a rav who gets many people to do teshuva and they began to speak against him.  I became angry at them and made a gathering.  I said to them the words of the Rambam.  What do you want, that Mashiach won’t come?…  I said not to pay attention to this.

“They don’t appreciate that a person does teshuva.  The Gemara says that this cancels all the decrees.”

Rav Berland: “The Gemara in Baba Metzia says that someone who causes [people] to do teshuva cancels all the decrees.”

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