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Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.

Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Post-Shavuos Notes

We provide the following post-Shavuos notes to our readers:

1) In a pre-Shavuos Bulletin, we had mentioned that the term "Simcha" is used two times by the Torah relating to Shavuous, and suggested an explanation. A reader noted a related explanation. He writes that Rav Pam, Zítl, would always emphasize that Limud HaTorah was always to be BíSimcha, with appreciation and joy for the opportunity. Accordingly, one "Simcha" in the Torah could refer to the joy of Torah study on Shavuous itself, and the other "Simcha" to the joy one should feel and experience when studying Torah daily.

2) We had discussed the concept of Shavuos being only one day, to emphasize the importance of even **one day** of Torah study. A mashal provided by Rav Yakov Neiman, Zítl, (Petach Tikva) further enlightens us in this area. Before navigation systems (and even street lights) were invented, a Jew traveled at night along a dark highway, hoping to reach his important destination peacefully. He came upon a fork in the road, and a sign in front of it. However, because it was the middle of the night and rain clouds blocked the light of the moon, he could not even read the sign. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning shot forth and illuminated the sign for a very brief moment. Success!! He now knew where he was going. The road to the right was his path. He needed no further instruction. Shavuos provides us with that incredible illumination. All we need to do now is keep ourselves on the road. Hashem has done what He had to do--itís now up to us.

3) Chazal (Shabbos 88B) teach that the Malochim protested Hahsemís gift of the Torah to mankind, for the Torah was so divine, it belonged only in Heaven. Moshe Rabbeinu was able to best them by showing that the Torahís Mitzvos and prohibitions were (at least on a simple level) directed to human beings--do not steal, do not kill, do not speak Loshon Hora, etc.... The Malochim knew this, but they still believed that there was no place for the holy among the profane. So how was Moshe Rabbeinu able to win his debate? The Darchei Mussar (page 332) explains that Moshe Rabbeinu was able to convince them that while the Torah remaining in Heaven would make Heavenly life more beautiful, the Torah on Earth was much more than that--for it was as essential to life on this planet as the very air we breathe.

In fact, the Gemara (Pesachim 112A) relates that Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai visited Rebbe Akiva in jail and asked Rebbe Akiva to teach him Torah. Rebbe Akiva refused to do so flagrantly in the presence of the Roman authorities, fearing for Rebbe Shimonís well-being (Rebbe Akiva was already incarcerated for the very teaching of Torah). Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai, unbelievable as it may sound, threatened his Rebbe with trumped-up charges against him to the government (apparently even worse charges than he had been jailed for)--unless he would teach him Torah! What was this all about? After all, Rebbe Akiva was only trying to protect Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai from the authorities! And how could Rebbe Shimon threaten his Rebbe in this gross way?! The answer seems to be that Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai was complaining to Rebbe Akiva that, without Torah to breathe, he faced such lowliness, such decadence, such a meaningless life, that he could actually become the lowest of lows-a moser--an informer--against his very own Rebbe!

Moshe Rabbeinu gave the Malochim an understanding of how the Earth--whose creation was also Hashemís will--simply could not function without the life breath of Torah. As we study Torah daily, we should really take a moment before, and/or during and/or after our study to recall Moshe Rabbeinuís debate with the Malochim--and realize that we have Torahís precious words because it is our air, our joy, and because it put us on the road to our glorious destination!


Hakhel MIS

Posted 6/2/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week | Comments (0)

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