“Tranquility that is good to bend ones shoulders and bear” Rabbi Eliezer...

“Tranquility that is good to bend ones shoulders and bear” Rabbi Eliezer Berland on Parshas Veyechi

*“He saw tranquility that it was good…yet he bent his shoulder to bear…” (49:15)* Yissaschar was the only one of all the tribes that had no connection to this world! The only bond that Yissaschar had to this world was the study of Torah. This is the tribe that everyone has to make the effort to assist, with each tribe contributing something. Zevulun does business—“Zevulun rejoiced in his going out”—Yehudah wages war, Levi serves in the *Beis HaMikdash*. But Yissaschar takes nothing from this world…only the study of Torah. Yissaschar was only interested in learning Torah, because the study of Torah is greater even than serving in the*Beis HaMikdash*, as it is written, “It is more precious than pearls” (*Mishlei* 3:15). It is greater than the *Kohen Gadol* going into the *Kodesh Kodoshim*. A *talmid chacham*who is a *mamzer* is greater than a *Kohen Gadol* who is an *am ha’aretz—*even though he is a *mamzer* who came from a forbidden relationship and has such a terrible blemish. If he learns Torah day and night, he is greater than the *Kohen Gadol*. The only way a person can escape from his *yetzer hara* is through studying Torah in depth—by learning until he feels that he is about to die, until he feels like he wants to die—“regarding a man who would die in the tent,” (Numbers 19:14).He needs to toil in Torah, to kill himself for it—not to study slackly, casually. Torah study is not done in a relaxed manner! A person has all kinds of desires, and he also has a desire for *nachas*—serenity. All of a person’s desires were hinted at in the generals of Eisav and one of them is the “general of serenity, [*aluf nachas*].” A person loves to walk at a leisurely pace, to be stress-free, to learn with peace and tranquility. But truthfully, the real *nachas*, the true serenity is only Torah study. “He saw tranquility that it was good…yet he bent his shoulder to bear”—this is the yolk of Torah (*Rashi*). The only genuine form of relaxation is the calmness which emanates from the soul. By learning Torah the soul is polished, cleaned, and all the filth is scraped off—all of the dirt is removed, and only then can one achieve this *menuchas hanefesh*. A person needs to know that he is responsible for the work of creation. Each day he needs to create the world anew. The world runs according to those who learn Torah—the world is created through Torah learning. “Because all the innovations of the work of creation that Hashem renews each day come through Torah study…One day there is rain the next is dry, one day the air is cool and moist, etc. etc.” (*Likutei Halachos*, *Yibum*3). Rebbe Nosson explains that you are building the world. You slept, and a tragedy happened. You were dreaming, or spoke with someone when you were supposed to be studying, and there was a disaster. A person needs to know that there’s no reason to read the newspaper or to know what is happening in the world. Even if just for a second you take an interest in what is happening in the world, then this will cause a tragedy to happen. A person should know that if he wastes time when he should be studying Torah, then a disaster will occur! You need to realize that all the changes that are going on in the world are according to your Torah study. When a person learns, then the whole world starts to love us, because all the nations sometimes love us and sometimes hate us. Whoever learns history knows that one year they love us and another year they hate us and want to exterminate all the Jews, because everything is dependent on our Torah study—not on the politicians or anything else. When a person learns Torah in depth, he plugs his intelligence into the Torah, and so he creates the world anew. He creates a new reality. He lives a new reality! Suddenly he has enough money to go to Uman! All of a sudden, he feels an influx of spirituality, an influx of material bounty! This is because he created a new world. He had previously been in a world where he didn’t have money, but now he is in a world where he has money, because he is now in a completely new world, because each moment a person creates new worlds. If a person learns*b’iyun*, then each moment he is creating new worlds. The Rebbe brings in Torah 101, “When a person does a sin, *chas v’shalom*, then the sin and the crime are engraved on his bones”, as it is written ( *Yechezkel* 32), “And their sins will be on their bones.” The Rebbe said, “Do you want to be forgiven for your sins? You want to erase your sins? It’s difficult, since your sins are engraved on your bones.” The sin breaks your bones. All of a person’s bones are broken—this one hurts, that one hurts—but it’s only because of the sins. Each and every sin is etched on to the bone. “And your sins will be engraved on your bones.” The bones are hollow. They have been engraved on, and now they break from so many engravings. If a person wants to reconnect his bones, to build his bones anew, to escape from “and your sins will be on your bones,” it is only through learning *b’iyun*, taking the exams, being examined, and learning *b’iyun.* Doing*teshuva* doesn’t help for damage already done since the bones are already broken and engraved upon. How can doing*teshuva* help after that? The answer is one needs to draw new mentalities into the bone, to renew the bone, and this can only be done through Torah study *b’iyun*. Through Torah study you activate all the cells that were already damaged, weakened, and had started to wither away. Studying renews them, activates them and gives them new life. The Torah rebuilds you and makes you a new person. A person is always looking for advice on how to break his bad character traits. So there is *hisbodedus* and *chatzos*. Everything is fine and dandy, but if he is not learning Torah *b’iyun* nothing will help him. If a person is not learning Torah*b’iyun*, then he is missing the essential factor—he has no brain, because a brain only comes from learning Torah *b’iyun*. This is like a person who does *hisbodedus*without using his intellect. There is no way for him to receive—Hashem wants to give him! Tomorrow, he will pray with*kavannah*, and after praying he runs out to eat. He is ready to run out of there—he runs out to talk with his friend. As they are saying *Aleinu* he is already taking off his tefillin and talking to his friend. Then Hashem says to him, “I want to give you. After praying, you should say some *pasuk*or learn two or three *halachos*, or you should learn a few lines of *Gemara*, and then you will have a wonderful brain and will understand everything. When praying we request that “you should put in our hearts *binah* to understand and become intelligent, to hear, to study, and to teach, to guard and to do.” Hashem wants to give him now all the *mochin*, but here, he is already starting to talk with his friend, or he runs out before *Aleinu*, and he is already taking off the tefillin, and he is already outside, talking, fighting, hitting, eating, and Hashem says, “I wanted to give you wonderful *mochin*. Why did you bolt out of here?” The Rebbe says that without learning Torah *b’iyun*, a person has no brain, and anything that a person does is lacking in essence, because the most important thing is learning *b’iyun*. Therefore, the Rebbe said that discipline in learning is more important than keeping the *mitzvos*. The Rebbe brings in *Sefer HaMidos* 33, that “learning is the basis of all the *mitzvos*.” A person needs to become accustomed to studying, as we request every morning, “make us study Your Torah regularly”—that we should get used to studying Torah. And the Rebbe says that getting accustomed is not enough! Reciting Gemara the same way one recites *Tehillim*is not good enough. Only studying *b’iyun* is called “study Your Torah regularly”! Take a *Rashba*, *Rambam*, *Ritba*, and the *Shita Mekubetzes*, and the *Rosh* and the *Rif *and the *Ran*, and the *Nimukei Yosef*, all the commentaries. The *Maharam Shif*, and the*Maharsha*, and the *Bach*, all that there is. And if the *Maharsha* is difficult for you, then use a commentator who is easier to understand, but this is the way your head must be working, all the time *b’iyun*—your basis should always be *b’iyun*. So the Rebbe says that if a person always learns*b’iyun,* “when one plumbs the depths of and understands the wisdom of the Torah, then he will have the burden of government and making a living removed from him.” But this is only for learning which reaches the depths of understanding of the wisdom of the Torah. Then he merits *anpin nehirin*—a glowing face. And then when all of a person’s thoughts are only in learning Torah *b’iyun*, understanding the *Gemara* well, knowing the *sugyah* well, understanding all the*rishonim*, all the *achronim*, and summarizing it, and writing it down, and in the meantime making a few new*chidushim*. Then, at that moment, he merits to such an *anpin nehirin*, a glowing face, that the whole world makes *teshuva*. He receives such *anpin nehirin* that the whole world makes *teshuva* just from the light of his face alone. “The wisdom of a person enlightens his face,” and though this, the burden of government and making a living is taken from him. Then, there is no burden of making a living in the world. There are no Russians, no Arabs, no *goyim*, nothing—there is no burden of government. For one person who will put his head into Torah *b’iyun*, Hashem is ready to remove the burden of government from the world, and all the kingdoms—to cancel the kingdoms—so that only Israel rules—only the Torah rules.


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