On Wednesday night, a large group of members of our community from the city of Eilat came to a shiur at the home of Moreinu HaRav Eliezer Berland shlit”a.
They travelled the long journey in a full bus, strengthening themselves all along the way with the tremendous merit of ascending to the shiur from their dwelling at the southern tip of the Land of Israel, the city of Teshuva – Eilat. The shiur lasted some forty minutes in which Moreinu HaRav shlit”a strengthened and inspire the community with numerous topics in his unique holy way. Below is a summary and some of the words which the Rav gave over during the course of the shiur:
The Rav shlit”a began the shiur discussing the weekly Torah portion – Shemot – about the passing of Yaakov’s sons. Likewise, he spoke about the significance of the day – the birthday festival of the king [being the Rav’s 86th birthday that night], and said that whatever one requests this day is accepted. He then talked about how Sarah did not want to return to the evil inclination and wanted to bring Yitzchak in holiness, and this is the meaning of what she said, “After I am worn out, shall I once again have pleasure?” However, the Rav said that the task is that specifically there will be an evil inclination and that we fight against it.
Afterwards, he spoke about the secret of “Upon Edom, I will cast my shoe,” that this is to sew together shoes for the Shechinah (Divine Presence). From there, he moved on to speak about the sale of Yosef. Likewise, he spoke about the significance of prostrating on the grave of Rabbi Naftali Katz and mentioned that also Rabbeinu Nachman prostrated himself at his holy grave on the way to the Land of Israel. The Rav said that outside of Rabbeinu, everyone passed away on their way to the Land of Israel – the son of the Rosh, who is buried in Sofia; and Rabbi Naftali Katz. Rabbeinu managed to reach the Land of Israel in the merit of his taking off his shoes and his hat. He related how Rabbeinu stopped Napoleon in Acco (Acre), and Napoleon himself said that if he had conquered Acco, he would have conquered the whole world.
Later in the shiur, he spoke about a number of topics from the Tanach: the construction of the Temple; the incident with Tzfanit, the oracle [Ba’alat Ov], and that she was the mother of Avner ben Ner. Afterwards, he spoke about the meal of the Leviathan. Eventually, he returned to Parshat Shemot, and cited the Zohar which says “A man went from the house of Levi and took the daughter of Levi,” that Yocheved was on the level of “the daughter of the Leviathan.” He also said the novelty that “She placed it in the reeds [basuf], that “basuf” is the numerical value of “Nachman,” that only Rabbeinu can take us out of this exile [translator’s note: seemingly the intention is that only Rabbeinu can redeem us at the end of days, as if the vowelization was read “basof – in the end”]. He brought the Midrash HaGadol that Batya bat Pharaoh, every night from the day Moshe was born, went to search for him, because she saw in the stars that he was born, and that she herself wanted to convert.