Secrets of the Torah with Rav Berland: Parshat Zachor, 5777

By Cleaving to the Tzadik, Arrogance, which is Haman, Gets Nullified

(Translated from the book Lights from the Days of Purim from the teachings of Rav Berland Shlit”a[1])

The advice advised to all those possessing arrogance is to reveal the Tzadik since the Tzadik is the tip of the Hebrew letter dalet (ד) and the Tzadik is[2] “the man with a prophetic soul,” meaning the Tzadik is filled with the spirit of life which is being clean of any speck of arrogance. Haughtiness is the belief in the existence of[3] “another G-d,” and not one G-d[4] and this haughtiness gets suppressed by connecting to the Tzadik.

This is the secret of the “field.”  By going out to the field, a person stops believing in “another G-d” and starts believing in Hashem (G-d).  That in the strength of the bushes, plants, and trees of the field, which become part of the prayers of those who go out to speak and pray to G-d in the field, the Hebrew word fallacy[5] (שקר) which comes from believing in “another G-d,” literally gets switched to the Hebrew word field (שדה).

How does the Hebrew word fallacy (שקר) become the word field (שדה)? First, by adding the tip of the letter dalet (ד) to the letter raish (ר), the letter raish (ר) becomes the letter dalet ((ד, and also by cutting[6] the leg of the letter koof (ק) it becomes the letter hey (ה), like this;

zachor pic


The long leg of the letter koof (ק) needs to be cut because the long leg of the letter koof (ק) corresponds to the verse[7], “that her legs are bringing down death.”  And this refers to Gehenom (the inferno) which is the essence of the tree upon which Haman was hung.

On Purim[8] one needs to go out to the field and pray but that is not enough since someone that prays can become full of arrogance and someone that learns Torah can become full of arrogance.  Therefore, on Purim one must dance because a person cannot leave his arrogance behind except through dancing and clapping hands, and dancing is the hardest thing to do, it is the hardest part of serving Hashem, because in the dancing a person reveals his humility.

Furthermore, this is Mordechai and Ester, since Mordechai is the essence of clapping and Ester is the essence of dancing, and only through dancing [literally moving one’s legs], is it possible to leave the essence of, “her legs are bringing down death.”  And the most important element of Purim is Ester and therefore the Migilah[9] (the story of Purim) is called, Migilas Ester (מגילת אסתר), since the most important healing on Purim comes from Ester, the essence of dancing[10].*

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And through the prayers and dancing of Purim the long leg of the Hebrew letter, final Tzadik (ץ) is made.  How is the final Tzadik (ץ) made through our prayers and dancing on Purim?  “Because[11] on Purim all of one’s transgressions switch and become merits and this results from the spiritual work of prayer and dancing which nullifies a person’s ego to the light of Hashem[12].

However, it is impossible to achieve nullification of one’s ego to the light of Hashem except by coming close to the Tzadik.” * And on the long leg of the final Tzadik (ץ) Haman was hung because this long leg of the final Tzadik (ץ) is the essence of the Tzadik.  And in the power of the Tzadik, exists one’s ability to suppress the Haman that exists in every generation and to hang him on the tree.

make a prayer

A Prayer[13] for Purim:

Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the Universe, master of happiness and joy, during this incredible hour of Purim, which is the essence of Yom Kippur, when the holy Divine presence enters the King’s courtyard to plead for mercy for the Nation of Israel.

The day on which externalities become internalized and all the worlds receive their light from the fiftieth gate, and all the physical becomes spiritual.  The day on which all the worlds return to their source, and the day which is the source of all the miracles and the incredible wonders that you Hashem perform, and the day of receiving the Torah with newness and with love!

Please Hashem on this day give me the merit to enter the circles of happiness, the happiness that never stops and that has no boundary.  Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the Universe, shine upon me this light of happiness the whole year without end.  Please Hashem may I have great joy in your truth and in the truth of your Tzadikim and may I have happiness that allows me to leave behind all  my transgressions and blemishes so that I will never make another mistake and I will not fall into another sin or transgression.

 Ribono Shel Olam – Master of the Universe, have mercy on me in your abundant mercy and may the merit of the strength of the true Tzadikim shield me.  May I merit through the true Tzadikim to break and nullify from upon me the character trait of arrogance and may I merit to feel my lowliness in every limb in complete truth.

And no thought of arrogance or haughtiness should enter my heart or my mind at all and may I merit true humility and complete emunah (faith – belief).  And please Hashem give me the merit to nullify and break all sorts of heresy so that they will not be in my heart or in the heart of the whole Nation of Israel ever.  And please help me to connect to the spirit of the true Tzadikim and may I merit to bring their holy spirit within my heart and through this I will straighten out my heart.

May my heart be truthfully correct with Hashem (G-d) in emunah and in humility.  And may I merit in your mercy that this spirit of holiness will go to my hands and to my legs and that my heart should awaken in great happiness to your great name.  And this holy happiness should spread to my hands and my legs until I merit to clap hands and dance in holiness.


 Rav Berland Shlit”a told over that, “for 10 years I completely cleaved to the Steipler[14] and I would ask him everything.  When I began to learn the books of Rebbe Nachman, since the Rabbaneat[15] forced me to learn the books of Rebbe Nachman, l did not feel any need to search for anything besides the Steipler because I explained all the teaching of Rebbe Nachman as they were lived by the Steipler.

One day I came to the Steipler and asked him, ‘In Torah learning I feel I am pushing myself and advancing but what about the work of prayer?’  And the Steipler said to me, ‘To work on prayer you need to go to Chassidus.’” From there the Rav began to search out the truth that lies within Chassidus.

On Purim in the year 5720 (1960) the Rav screamed out to Hashem (G-d), “I need to find the complete truth!”  And that night the Rav went to the Migilah reading at the Lelov Chassidis located at the time in Tel Aviv.  Afterwards when the Rav returned home to Bene Brak, he decided to go around to the different Purim tishes (Purim parties) to see which Chassidus connects to his soul.

The Rav began by going to the Purim tish of Viznitz however, on the way to Viznitz the Rav saw Breslov and thought Breslov is all about happiness, I want to see what Breslov is all about on Purim.  The Rav entered the Breslov of Bene Brak and it was completely quiet, no music, no food, and NO TISH!

The Rav could not believe it, where is the happiness of Breslov?  All of Breslov was completely empty except for two Breslover Chassidim sitting and learning together, and soon after the Rav entered they finished up their Torah learning and began to leave.

The Rav asked them, “Where is everyone, why is it so quiet, where is the Purim Tish?”  The Breslover that answered was Nachman Rosental, and he explained, “In Breslov, on the night of Purim, all the Breslovers go to sleep early in order to wake up for Chatzos (Jewish midnight) and go out to the field (שדה) and cry out to Hashem (G-d), ‘Save us from the evil forces of Haman-Amalek and give us the merit to receive the holiness of Mordechai and Ester!’ And now everyone is sleeping to get up for Chatzos.”  The Rav thought, going out to the field and screaming out to Hashem, this is the Purim I always wanted! *[16]


Jewish law[17] cites that, “we are not precise regarding money given out on Purim, rather all those that open their hands and ask for charity, we give to them.”  And Rebbe Nachman[18] writes, “At the time of prayer a person should spread out his palms as if he is receiving something.”  Therefore, a connection exists between opening one’s hand to receive in the physical world and opening one’s hand in prayer to receive from Hashem in the spiritual.

On Purim the physical world reflects the spiritual world since in the physical world we give out charity to all those who ask because Hashem (G-d) gives charity by answering all of our prayers we pray to him on Purim.  And Rebbe Nosson writes,[19] “we believe that of course Hashem (G-d) will do for us incredible miracles on this Purim just like he did on the original Purim, since the holiness of Purim is recurring in every generation and in every year.”

It is a complete miracle that the Rav found Breslov and connected to Rebbe Nachman after cleaving to the Steipler for 10 years.  Yet every one of us can also merit miracles on Purim and the most important miracle is to form a deep connection to the Tzadik by calling out and praying to Hashem on Purim just as the Rav did.

And this is the Rav’s Purim miracle 57 years ago, that when he cried out to Hashem, “I need to find the complete truth,” Hashem brought him straight to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.  And connecting to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov is a miracle fitting for Purim since[20], “the miracle of Purim is greater than all the miracles Hashem has ever done for us.”


Did a person fulfil his Mitzvah of giving Matanos Lievyonim (Gifts for the poor) if he gives money to a Gabai[21] with the intent that the Gabai will hand out that money to the needy, yet the Gabai loses the money? Rav Eliashiv z”l[22] holds, “the Gabai is like the hand of the poor person,” so giving to the Gabai is just like giving to a poor person.

And even if the Gabai loses the money and it does not actually get to a poor person by giving to a Gabai one has fulfilled his obligation of Matanos Lievyonim.  However, Rav Kirelitz and Rav Chayim Kaniyevski Shlit”a hold, “if the money does not get to the hand of the poor person” one did not successfully give Matanos Lievyonim.

Do Matanos Lievyonim need to be given on Purim?  According[23] to Rav Vosner and Rav Chayim Kaniyevski Shlit”a “to do Matanos Lievyonim flawlessly it is fitting for the giving to the poor person to be done on Purim.


 HaRav Eliezer Ben Etyah and the Rabbaneat Shlit”a, Matisyahu Yisrael Ben Rachel Malka, Ester Rachel Bas Nurit, Menachem Ben Ester Rachel, Moshe Ben Ester Rachel, Sarah Bas Ester Rachel.

For Dedications: | For Donations: donations@tha613.comGood Shabbos – Good Purim!

[1] שולחן ערוך סימן תרצד סעיף ג ~ ואין מדקדקין במעות פורים אלא כל הפושט יד ליטול נותנין לו

[2] ספר המדות פרק תפילה סעיף מו

[3] עלים לתרופה מכתב קעה

[4] לקוטי תפלות ח”ב תפילה לז ד”ה “רבונו של עולם אתה יודע שבעוצם…”

[1] The Steipler was the brother-in-law of the Chazon Ish and merited for his son to become Rav Chayim Kaniyevski Shlit”a of today.

[2]  The Rav’s wife

[3] Last week in Simchas Rabeinu Parshas Terumah 5777 there was a mistake in the Baal Shem Tov Story of Today, at the time Nachman Berland was engaged and married the Rav and the Rabbaneat were living in the Old City in Jerusalem.

[4] This prayer is from Reb Nosson’s book Likeutey Tefilos and Rav Berland’s book Tefilah LiAni

[5] מלבי”ם מלכים ב פרק ד פסוק לג – לד ~ וכפי המבואר בזוהר (בשלח) מת הילד משום שאמר את חובקת והיה מסטרא דנוקבא, ר”ל שאמו בלבד הוכנה אל הלידה ולא האב, והיה חיותו חלוש למטה שחסר כח האב המקיים, ולמעלה היה מסטרא דדינא שרגליה יורדות מות

[6] הקטע הזה עד ה-* הוא מלוקט מהספר גדולת ימי הפורים מפי הגה”צ ר’ אליעזר ברלנד שליט”א עמודים 2 – 3

[7] מגילה

[8] גדולת ימי הפורים מפי הגה”צ ר’ אליעזר ברלנד שליט”א עמוד 3 ~ פה הרב אמר, “כי עיקר התיקון זה באסתר בחינת הרגלין”  אבל באותו עמוד הרב אמר, “ואסתר זה בחינת הריקודים.”

[9] הקטע הזה עד ה-* הוא מלוקט מהספר גדולת ימי הפורים מפי הגה”צ ר’ אליעזר ברלנד שליט”א עמוד 13

[10] אין סוף

[11] אורות ימי הפורים עמוד ו

[12] בראשית פרק מא פסוק לח ~ ויאמר פרעה אל עבדיו הנמצא כזה איש אשר רוח אלהים בו: ואונקלוס שם ~ ואמר פרעה לעבדוהי הנשכח כדין גבר דרוח נבואה מן קדם יי ביה:

[13] זוהר פרשת בראשית דף כט עמוד א ~ ולא אית בכלהו לטייא כעמלק דאיהו חיויא בישא אל אחר.

[14] Rav Tzanani explained that when we read the “Shema” (שמע) we say, “Shema Yisrael, Hashem (G-d) is the L-rd our G-d, Hashem is One.” And the word “one” in Hebrew is אחד.  If we have arrogance, the letter dalet (ד) which is the last letter of the word אחד switches to the Hebrew letter raish (ר) and then the word אחד (one) literally changes to the word אחר meaning “another.”

[15] האר”י בספר פרי עץ חיים בתחום שבת הלכות שבת

[16] האר”י בכונות פורים

[17] A gabai is the manager of the Synagogue and deals with tasks like collecting and distributing Tzadaka.

[18] משנה ברורה סימן תרצד סעיף א באור הלכה ד”ה לשני עניים דרשו אות 15

[19] משנה ברורה סימן תרצד סעיף א באור הלכה ד”ה לשני עניים דרשו אות 15


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