The Daily Chizzuk of our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a – “Outside of the Torah, there’s nothing”
Tuesday, 3 Tevet 5783 – Rachel saw that Rabbi Akiva was angry at the Sages because they put him down when he was an ignoramus
These are his holy words:
A person who doesn’t learn is poor and lowly. One needs to know that outside of Torah, there is nothing. Either you bring livelihood or you learn Torah. There’s nothing in between.
There’s no lying in bed, there’s no being in despair. Every person can be a Torah sage like Rabbi Akiva. He began at the age of forty.
It’s written in Midrash Rabbah, “Send through whomever You will send” (Shemot 4:13). Moshe already ascended to heaven. Another minute, he receives the Torah. He saw all the generations and said: “Master of the World, I resign. I saw [the greatness of] Rabbi Akiva. I resigned.”
Who is Rabbi Akiva? An ignoramus! A complete gentile. He was a gentile.
His father-in-law [Kalba Savua] didn’t know him. He says, “I had a daughter who fled on me with a sheep herder – such shame.” They proposed to Rachel matches with Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, matches with Rabbi Eliezer the Great, with Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Tarfon… All the Tannaim existed then – the greatest of the Tannaim, all of them wanted to marry the daughter of Kalba Savua.
This is the most successful daughter, the most exceptional, and all of them want [her], and she says, “No, No…” “Just say what you want.” She says, “No.” Suddenly, she disappears with a sheep herder.
This is shame the likes of which there never was in the world. Fine [if] he was a sheep herder who knows how to read, but he was a sheep herder who said, “Who will give me a Torah scholar and I will bite him like a donkey” (Pesachim 49b). Why a donkey and not a dog? Because a dog doesn’t break bones. I want to be like a donkey, to break bones, to break all the bones of the Torah scholars.
Rachel said, “What, is he guilty? He didn’t do this because he really hated Torah scholars, rather because he was persecuted. As an ignoramus, they persecuted him, insulted him, put him down. Rachel understood that everything came from the fact that they put him down, that they broke him.
A person, they break him – who knows what he could be? “And I’ll I bite him like a donkey…”
But Rachel meant for good. She intended to take a person and rehabilitate him. She saw that he would be the greatest Torah sage in the generation. “I will make him a Torah sage.”
They say about Clinton – he travelled with his wife, and they came to a gas station. They needed to get out to fill up the gas. Clinton’s wife got out, and suddenly she sees the manager of the station. She says to her husband, “They once proposed me a match with him.” He says to her, “What a miracle that you have that you didn’t marry him. It’s obvious, because I’m president.”
She told him, “No! If I had married him, I would have made him president!”
The wife does everything. She makes the president. She makes everything. Rachel said, “I will marry Rabbi Akiva and make him the great of the generation.”
The woman has more powers than the man. A man has no power. He can’t manage. If a man had one contraction, he would die on the spot, on the first contraction.
Amram got divorced. The moment that he gets divorced, it’s over. A person stands the test and doesn’t divorce his wife… Miriam says to him, “You’re worse than Pharaoh. You decree on the females. If you get divorced there won’t be anything.” He can still pray, he can still cancel the decree.
Through prayer, we cancel every decree. There is no decree that we don’t cancel through prayer.
Even Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka [one of the close students of the Baal Shem Tov and the grandfather of Rabbeinu Nachman of Breslov] asked the Baal Shem Tov if it’s possible to do something that he [the Baal Shem Tov?] would continue to live.
The Baal Shem Tov answered: “Certainly it’s possible, only that you don’t know. I won’t reveal to you.” It’s always possible to heal all the illnesses. There’s nothing that isn’t healable – there’s no such thing.