We don’t know what we have to rectify

rectifying the past

We don’t know what we have to rectify from the past

Excerpt of a shiur that was given over Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5778, by Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita.

“They gathered together against Moshe” – Parshat Korach, 16:3

We should know that the same thing that happened 3,330 years ago… that everything that occurred then, 3,300 years ago, this is being repeated in exactly the same way.

Right now, the Tzaddik is receiving the luchot (tablets containing the 10 commandments), he’s preparing the luchot, and he’s making refinements and purifications, and each person needs to be anxious to receive the luchot.

[We shouldn’t be] talking, or wandering around, or wasting our time; we shouldn’t be moving our faces away from seeing the Tzaddik. “That your eyes look ahead and your eyelids will direct your path” (Proverbs, 4:25) Eyelids – keep your eyes always on the Tzaddik, in the direction of the Tzaddik. It’s assur (forbidden) to move away, this is the halacha, this is a positive commandment.

“That your eyes look ahead and your eyelids will direct your path.”

The secret of the Leviathan

We need to be studying 10 chapters of Mishlei (Proverbs) every day. Now it’s 9.30am, until 8.30pm is 11 hours – you can finish the whole of Mishlei! You could finish the whole of Iyov! Everything is connected to what is said about the Leviathan.

It’s the secret of the Leviathan. The daughter of Levi, Bat Levi, “And a man went from the house of Levi, and he took the daughter of Levi” (Shmot 2:1). What, it’s forbidden to say his name? Why isn’t it written: ‘And Amram went and took Yocheved?’ What’s written here instead? “And a man went from the house of Levi, and he took the daughter of Levi.”

“The woman conceived and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was good and she hid him for three months. She could not hide him any longer, so she took a wicker basket for him and smeared it with clay and pitch. She placed the child into it and placed it among the reeds at the bank of the River. His sister stationed herself at a distance to know what would be done with him.

“Pharoah’s daughter went down to bathe by the river and her maidens walked along the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and she sent her maidservant and she took it. She opened it and saw him, the child, and behold!…She called his name Moses, as she said: ‘I drew him from the water.’ (Shemot 2: 1-10)

Moshe’s 10 names

[Moshe] had 10 names. 10! It’s written in Vayikra Rabba Chapter 1 that he had 10 names – Yekutiel, Avi, Zanoach, Avigdor. Avigdor from the word geder, (to enclose, fence in) that he fenced in the boundaries of Israel.

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Zanoach because he zanach, abandoned, all the avoda zara. Because he came to the house of Yitro, and there they worshipped all the different forms of avoda zara (idols), but he didn’t become confused by this.

They abandoned everything

Even King Jeroboam, it’s written about him in Divrei HaYamim 2 that he didn’t worship any avoda zara, and that everyone abandoned their Mercedes Benz [i.e. their materialism]. I remember that he abandoned his Mercedes, and how much he cried over that, and his wife screamed at him: ‘You are not going to Jerusalem!’

So then suddenly, Jeroboam made the golden calves, because half of the people of Israel were going to Jerusalem, and they were leaving their property and their penthouses behind, and also their villas – they abandoned everything.

The ikker (essence) is to not worship avoda zara. But despite all this, after three years [these people] also started to worship idols, and became trapped in the snare. There was such a big lust [to worship idols]. We don’t have the first idea about it.

The lust for avoda zara

King Menashe[1] told Rav Ashi: “You would have been the first one to run after them!” Rav Ashi [had told his students] that tomorrow, we’ll speak of our ‘friend’ Menashe.[2] What?! I’m your friend?! What am I, that I should be your friend?!

So [Rav Ashi said to Menashe] why did you engage in avoda zara? And he replied [to Rav Ashi] that if you had been there, you would have been the first one to run after it. For 900 years, people were playing [their music] for avoda zara, day and night they were singing to their avoda zara.

They had no idea that Hashem existed in the world, they didn’t know that there was Hashem.

We don’t know what we have to rectify

And this is what Iyov (Job) had to rectify. A person doesn’t know what he’s coming down here to rectify. Iyov came to letaken (spiritually rectify) all the melodies of the avoda zara that Yuval (Jubal) used to play. Yuval was the father of all the harps and flutes.

Hannah came to rectify all of Rahav’s sins. Over the course of 6,000 years, a person can rectify all the sins in the whole world. There is no sin that he didn’t commit, so they give him a chance to stand up in a test, to sing a song, to sing Hallel (God’s praises), to sing about the love he has for Hashem’s world.

If he doesn’t sing about his great love for Hashem’s world, then [his life] isn’t worth anything. He’ll go to pubs, and he’ll go and take drugs.  A person thinks, it’s enough already, I’m going to start taking drugs.


[1] King Hezkiyahu’s son Menashe was a terrible idol worshipper, who killed millions of his fellow Jews and defiled the whole of Jerusalem, the Temple and the country with his idols, before he made teshuva in his later years. He appeared in a dream to Rav Ashi many generations after his death, and explained to him that had Rav Ashi also been alive at that time, he would have run to worship idols.

[2] Rav Ashi was speaking in a mildly derogatory way about Menashe, because he was known as an awful idol worshipper.

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