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זוהר חבד אור הזוהר # 77

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זוהר חבד # 77 אנגלית 6 עמודים

Ohr Ha’Zohar #79 English

כריכה פרה אדומה (6) ספר זוהר פרה אדומה+פסק בית דין+נפש דוד

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Ohr Ha’Zohar #79

Questions and answers for our dear brethren who fell victim to the Erev-Rav Rabbis who fight a war against Mashiach!

QUESTION: Is it possible that someone may learn Torah and seem to love the Torah – yet at the same time may actually be denigrating the holy Torah?

ANSWER: We find in the Gemorah (Eruvin 64a) that Rabbi Acha Bar Chanina asks – What is conveyed by the verse: “One who shepherds harlots will lose a fortune”?  One who says regarding one part of the Torah that it is appealing and regarding another part of the Torah that it is not appealing will lose the fortune of the Torah!

  Rashi explains as follows: The words “One who shepherds harlots – רועה זונות” – is an acronym forIt is appealing, therefore I will shepherd it – זו נאה וארענה”!  What Rashi means to say is that one who shepherds (i.e. learns) only the parts of the Torah that appear appealing to him (‘appealing’ in Hebrew is זו נאה – which is an acronym for זונה – harlot) will eventually destroy the honor of the Torah.  Furthermore, the Torah will eventually be forgotten from him.

  This should impress upon us that the honor of the Torah is evident only when we learn all its parts – including the wisdom of the Torah’s secrets which has been clarified in Chasidut.  And one who – God forbid – negates the learning of Kabalah and Chasidut and gives the impression that this part of the Torah is not appealing is directly diminishing the honor of the Torah.  Therefore he is destined to eventually forget his Torah!  This is the understanding according to Rashi.

  In spite of my impoverished understanding, I would also like to offer my own commentary.  When the Gemorah said that he will lose a fortune, this was said in reference to the fortune of the Torah that he will lose – and not a financial fortune.  And it is well known that our sages impressed upon us that The Torah is rich in one place and poor in another place (Barayta of the thirty-two measures – in measure fifteen).  If so, then certainly when someone negates the words of the Torah in one place since he finds interest only in the words of the Torah in another place, then per-force he remains poor in his Torah understanding and thereby looses the fortune of the Torah.  If so, then ever the more so in our case, as it is well know that any Torah knowledge which is missing the understanding on the level of the Torah’s secrets is certainly dry and poor (as clarified in Tikunei Zohar #30).  Perhaps this was Rashi’s intention when he equated the fortune of the Torah to the honor of the Torah – since the Torah’s fortune is actually its honor!

  Let us bring to light the words of Rav Chaim Vital (the disciple of the Arizal) who wrote in vary harsh terms that not learning the secrets of the Torah is by all means the negation of the Torah’s honor since the honor of the Torah is necessarily its secrets.  Let us examine his words (in his famous introduction):

  By all means Rabbi Akiva attained these secrets in this world.  It is therefore very fitting that which we find in the Mishna (at the end of Sotah) that ‘When Rabbi Akiva passed away the honor of the Torah disappeared!’ (as we know, Rabbi Akiva would learn piles and piles of Hallachot from each and every tip of the Torah’s letters.  By doing so he demonstrated that there is nothing for naught in the Torah – even the tips of the letters – and there is no greater honor to the Torah than that!)  In my opinion this is also the meaning of the Mishna (Avot 6:2): ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says: Each and every day a heavenly voice emanates from Mt. Chorev and cries out: Oy to the comers of the world from the disgrace of the Torah!’  Certainly so long as they toil only in the revealed portions of the Torah and its stories the Torah wears its mourning widow clothes and sackcloth.  The nations of the world can then content: ‘In what way is your Torah better than ours?  After all, your Torah is also nothing more than stories from this menial world!’  Certainly there is no greater disgrace to the Torah than that!  If so, then Oy to the comers of this world due to the disgrace of the Torah!  And why?  Because they do not toil in the wisdom of Kabalah – as it is specifically this wisdom that gives honor to the Torah!

  We just saw explicitly in the words of Rav Chaim Vital ample support to that which we claimed earlier – namely that the lack of learning the secrets of the Torah is a negation of the Torah’s honor.  If so, then Oy to the learners who learn the Torah without its secrets!

  Another very important point which Rav Chaim Vital stresses in his words is the positive influence of learning the secrets of the Torah – and not only the adverse affects of not learning them.  In other words, he stresses that certainly the Torah is very much honored, esteemed and elevated in everyone’s eyes when it is learned along with its secrets.  Along with this Rav Chaim Vital also stresses the direct opposite – that by ignoring the learning of the Torah’s secrets as if to say that it is not a beautiful and appealing subject of the Torah (in the words of the Gemorah that we began our discussion with), this is not only the negation of the Torah’s honor – but certainly its disgrace as well!  Not only do we not honor the Torah by not learning its secrets but we disgrace it as well – God forbid!

  With all of the above we can answer the question you asked: Is it possible that someone may learn the Torah yet actually be disgracing it?  Based on the words of Rav Chaim Vital the answer is obvious.  As we saw, according him this is precisely why (Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi came) in the Mishna (Avot 6:2) to impress upon us that ‘Oy to the Torah learners who although they actually learn the holy Torah they are actually disgracing it since they are not learning the secrets of the Torah as well!’ [The above-quoted was taken from the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad]

QUESTION:  You claim that one who does not learn Zohar will eventually forget his learning in the revealed parts of the Torah.  Where did you derive that?  Why should that be?

ANSWER:  The answer to this question is written in the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’.  Rashi (in Eruvin 64a) writes: He will destroy the honor of Torah and it will eventually be forgotten from him.  Although his  beginning words certainly fit the Gemorah, we should very well wonder why he ended off saying that the Torah will eventually be forgotten from him.

  The first part is definitely clear – as we explained, certainly the cause of the diminishment of the honor of Torah and its disgrace comes from our negligence to learn the parts of the Torah which one may not find so appealing to him.  What we don’t understand is why Rashi ended off by stressing that he is also destined to forget the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing and actually did learn them?  Should we just accept Rashi’s words faithfully since he is the Rabbi of all of Israel – or can we also understand intellectually where Rashi is coming from?  Upon first impression, we cannot intellectually comprehend why not wanting to learn one part of the Torah that he does not find appealing should necessary cause him to forget the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing and therefore did learn them and even reviewed and memorized them!

  Furthermore, before we begin to answer our puzzling question, from the very question itself we discover another very interesting point.  The verse ‘He who shepherds harlots will lose a fortune’ is understood to be saying that due to his decision to shepherd harlots he will not only lose what he could have potentially earned but that this will also cause him to lose what he currently already has.  According to this, the Gemorah that used this verse as a parable to one who shepherds harlots in Torah terms (i.e. by wanting to learn only the parts of the Torah that he finds appealing) and therefore he will lose even more than what he merely did not want to learn.  But isn’t that obvious?  Certainly since he does not want to learn a particular part of the Torah he will definitely lose out on its knowledge!  Rather, it must be that this parable comes to warn us that he will eventually lose that which he did learn as well – even that which he currently does possess in his memory (as Rashi states).  This is a very revolutionary nuance in the words of Rashi that not everyone pays attention to.  However, be as it may (i.e. whether people notice this nuance or not) our question still requires an answer: Why should he forget the parts of the Torah that he did learn and even currently possesses in his memory?  In my opinion there are two possible answers to our question, both of which are Emet:

  We’ll begin with a simpler answer, one that touches upon the cause of remembrance and forgetfulness.  As we know, what we don’t understand properly we quickly forget.  We’ll demonstrate this with two examples.  The first example of this is from the accepted custom to memorize Mishnayot by heart which in itself is a very noble practice (see the book “Hayom Hayom” – 9th of Sivan).  It is clearly evident that the more one understands the content of the Mishnayot the easier it will for him to learn them by heart – as well as to memorize them for a long duration.  However, one who merely regurgitates the Mishnayot like a parrot without understand what he is saying will quickly forget it (unlike the parrot who may actually remember)!  The second example is from our Gemorah learning.  We know that when we learn a Talmudic discussion only superficially and fast we will quickly forget it.  However, when one invests the time and effort necessary to learn a topic in the Gemorah thoroughly by understanding the roots of that topic he will surely remember it for a very long time.  From the abovementioned examples we can surely appreciate the first answer to our question – why should he forget what he already learned by not learning all the areas in the Torah?  The answer is that clearly by ignoring a particular aspect of the Torah one is limiting his understanding in any another topic he may learn.  Not only that, but he may very well have misunderstood and even contorted that which he thinks he understands!  Why should that be?  As we explained – the Torah is ‘rich’ in one place and ‘poor’ in another place.  And since he is not willing to learn from the place which is ‘rich’ (since it is not appealing to him) – his overall understanding in any other place in the Torah is therefore necessarily poor.  If so, then we understand very well why Torah that is learned in a limited capacity – in one particular place and not another – is necessarily at risk to be forgotten!  Conversely then, when we learn the holy Torah in all its facets our overall understanding is necessarily enriched and our learning will be properly understood and well-founded.  In such a case, his Torah will be not quickly be forgotten – if at all!  If so, then this matter is applicable a thousand times more so when it comes to an individual who is missing the learning of the Torah’s secrets.  After all, regarding such Torah learning without the secrets we know that: 1) the Tikunei Zohar (#30) calls such Torah as ‘dry’ and poor.  2) The GRA writes that in such a case he does not understand even the revealed parts that he thinks he learned and will not understand any Hallacha correctly.  3) In the words of Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzirah, without the secrets of the Torah our learner is walking in the dark, like a blind man in a chimney!  With all of the above-said, it is clear like the sun why Rashi wrote that without learning all the areas in the Torah even what he did learn is bound to be forgotten from him.  And this matter is not only logical but also evident from the external world around us.  It is proven and not only a matter of faith!

  A second explanation of why Rashi wrote that his Torah will be forgotten from him is also not hard to understand – as it is based on precisely why this person is learning Torah in the first place.  As we presented our first answer we clarified that such a person’s Torah learning is surely dry and poor which is the reason why it is bound to be forgotten from him.  But now we will shift our focus away from how he is learning towards why he is learning.  It is perfectly clear that when someone learns only the Torah that he finds appealing to his eyes with the Chutzpah and the brashness of one who ‘shepherds harlots’ and by doing so he negates and undermines the secrets of the Torah which is the part of the Torah that he does not find appealing to his eyes – then this proves that his learning is not for the sake of heaven but rather like one who sheppards harlots (which are the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing) – that is to say he is learning for personal enjoyment.  If so, then we all know our sages’ famous teaching that Any love which is dependent upon something else is bound to be discontinued as soon as the factor upon this love is dependent upon will stop.  We find such love to often be dependent upon money or honor.  If so we can easily appreciate that as soon as the money or the honor will cease – so will the love.  Therefore, when one is learning for honor reasons then as soon as the honor ceases so will his love for the Torah – at which point the Torah will leaving him or he will live the Torah!

[Taken from the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’]

 

ZOHAR CHABAD # 77

 

Ohr Ha’Zohar – Alon #77 – Nissan 5773

 

WHO IS A REAL CHABAD CHASSID WHO NEVER MOVES AN INCH FROM THE REBBE’S INSTRUCTIONS?

 מי הוא חסיד חב”ד אמיתי?

שאלות ותשובות לחסידי חב”ד

 Question: A certain Chabad Chasid asked me why I bother sending our books to Chabad synagogues?  Don’t you know that we don’t learn Zohar?

Answer: First of all, anyone who says such a thing is obviously a big ignoramus as not only does he does not understand the Torah properly but he certainly does not even know the customs of Chabad!  A Chabad Chasid who speaks in such a fashion is certainly not even on the doorstep of Chasidut in the very least – and certainly not on the doorstep of Chabad Chasidut!

And now I’ll prove to you just how wrong you are.  The Leubavicher Rebbe Ztl’ once asked the ‘Rishon Le’Zion’ Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Ztl’ if they learn Zohar in the holy land.  He told him that only the Sephardim learn Zohar on a regular basis.  The Rebbe retorted: ‘Why such discrimination?  After all, the Zohar was given to the Ashkenazim as well, as certainly the Ashkenazim must also learn the Zohar Ha’Kadosh.’  The Rebbe then told him (30 years ago in 5744): ‘When you get back to the holy land put up giant posters all over the Eretz Yisrael to impress upon them that it I hold and command that everyone should learn and toil in the Zohar Ha’Kadosh!’

There is another wonderful story I can tell you that is found in the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’ (in footnote 11 – Pg. 84).  This is a real life story that happened to a certain Yeshiva student who was a phenomenal learner in a certain Yeshiva, and as a result of his great learning prowess he earned the respect and awe of his friends and Rabbis.  The full story is very long and touching, so I’ll tell you only the gist.

One day the boy was fortunate to enter a ‘Yechidut’ with the Rebbe (with the help of a certain Chasid who brought him before the Rebbe).  During that ‘Yechidut’ the Rebbe impressed upon him the great importance of learning the secrets of the Torah and Chasidut.  The boy asked the Rebbe: ‘But why?’  The Rebbe answered him (in approximately these words): ‘Because if at any point they’ll stop respecting you – you may stop learning altogether!’  As the boy left the holy midst of the Rebbe, his Chasidim approached him hoping to hear what the Rebbe said to him.  However, he was in no mood to exchange even one single word with them as he was quite upset about how the Rebbe spoke to him.  However, precisely what the Rebbe predicted unfortunately happened to that boy – as this previously phenomenal learner eventually left the Torah and the Mitzvot altogether. (By the way – from here we learn that when one does not learn and cleave to the Zohar Ha’Kadosh this is a sign that all his learning is for the sake of personal fame and glory.  The primary sign of this is that if he will not succeed in attaining that fame and glory he will immediately abandon the Torah – and who knows what will become of him!)

Till one day the boy met that same Chasid that previously took him to the Rebbe.  When he saw him from across the street he screamed out: ‘I want to learn Chasidut!’  The Chasid eventually recognized the boy even though his appearance had changed so much.  At that point he asked him: ‘What happened to you?  How did you deteriorate to such a degree?’  And the previous Yeshiva student admitted: ‘The Rebbe told me in our Yechidut that this will happen to me and I was very angry in my heart for speaking to me that way.  However, the next time it was my turn to say the ‘Chabura’ (i.e. an in-depth discourse of the Gemorah) in Yeshiva in front of my colleagues I failed tremendously and my honor was thrown to the floor.  From that point on they respected me less and less in Yeshiva until I lost the taste for Torah learning.  I stopped learning and with time left Torah and Mitzvot altogether.  But when I saw you today I recalled the words of the holy Rebbe who predicted a head of time what would happen to me.  That shook me up tremendously and aroused in me a great sense of remorse.  Therefore, I beg of you – please teach me Chasidut! (The name of this Avrech is well known).

The following is the gist of the historical meeting with the Rebbe as accounted in the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’

 

The unification of Ashkenazim and Sephardim!

We often here talk of the great necessity to break the barriers that separate the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.

In the year 5744 both chief Rabbis of Yisrael (Ashkenazi and Sepharadi – namely Rav Avraham Shapira and Rav Mordechai Eliyahu) soon after beginning their post met with the Leubavicher Rebbe.  During that conversation they discussed the need to learn the secrets of the Torah and the urgency to break the barriers that separate between the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.  This is part of their conversation, as quoted form the book ‘Be’Tzel Ha’Chochma’:

Rav Shapira: The learning of Kabalah was common amongst the Sephardim more than it was amongst the Ashkenazim, however the leaders of the Ashkenazim received the Kabalah heritage from the Sephardim when they ascended to Eretz Yisrael.  (It is worthy to quote from the book ‘Shorshei Ha’Chasidut’ that the first to spread the secrets of the Torah in the Ashkenazi countries were the Sephardim that arrived there after the Spanish expulsion.  According to this insight, we therefore learn that both when the Ashkenazi leaders ascended to Eretz Yisrael as well as initially after the Spanish expulsion when the Sephardim arrived in the Ashkenazi countries – the spread of Kabalah was attributed primarily to the Sepharadi Jewry.  This goes hand in hand with the Rebbe’s assessment that the Sephardim preceded the Ashkenazim with regards to the secrets of the Torah).

The honorable Admor: The learning of the Torah’s secrets belongs to the entire nation of Yisrael – both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.  With regards to Ashkenazim, the GRA who was one of the greatest Ashkenazi leaders wrote in his commentary to Mishley (Ch. 2: verse 9 – and we’ll cite the GRA word by word): ‘Once he understands the secrets properly everything else will be understood properly as well – the Peshat, the Remez and the Drush.  However, until he understands the secrets of the Torah he did not even acquire the Peshat yet!’ – these are the words of the GRA.

During the continuation of their Yechidut with the Rebbe the chief Rabbis requested a blessing so that they will not stumble in matters of Hallacha rulings.  The Rebbe responded that according the words of the GRA that only one who learns the secrets of the Torah is assured to arrive at the true Hallachic ruling – be it ‘Yoreh Yoreh’ or ‘Yadin Yadin’ – as we saw above from the GRA’s words that without learning the secrets of the Torah it is impossible to know the Hallacha properly (i.e. not even the Peshat)!  Furthermore, the GRA’s famous disciple Rav Chaim of Villozin published his famous ‘Nephesh Ha’Chaim’ which draws mostly from previous Kabalah works.

If so, we clearly learn from the Rebbe that the learning of Kabalah belongs to all the different circles in our holy nation – both Ashkenazim and Sephardim!

The following is also related to our discussion regarding the need to break the barriers between the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.  As we know, certainly everything begins with the Torah as stated in the Zohar (Part 2 – top of Pg. 161b) that before the Almighty created the world ‘he looked at the Torah and proceeded to create the world’.  Therefore, in order to break the barriers between the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim we must certainly start with the Torah as we learned from the words of the Rebbe. (One could incorrectly argue otherwise from that which the Rebbe disagreed with the Rav Shapira’s assessment that Chasidut belongs to the entire nation of Yisrael ‘both Ashkenazim and Sepharadim’, as well as from what the Rebbe said with regards to the learning of Kabalah when he agreed with Rav Shapira that the learning of Kabalah is stronger amongst Sepharadim.  Nevertheless, there is certainly no contradiction between the two statements.  Surely, in spite of the excellence of the Sephardim when it comes to learning the secrets of the Torah and in spite of their merit for having initiated this learning amongst our nation in the first place – nevertheless by no means does their merit (God-forbid) negate or diminish the duty that is surely placed upon our Ashkenazi brethren to also participate in this learning as well – as we clearly saw in the words of the GRA that the Rebbe quoted.)

Furthermore, this seems to be the proper fashion to break the dividing wall and bring together the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.  Till now Sephardim were more attached to this learning – it is therefore time for the Ashkenazim to ‘catch up’ and in doing so break this division!  (From Be’Tzel Ha’Chochma – Pg. 802-902)

This is the gist of that famous meeting.  In addition we’ll quote a few sections from ‘Igrot Ha’Kodesh’ that relate to the Zohar Ha’Kadosh so that we’ll all understand to what great extent the Rebbe actually pushed the learning of the Torah’s secrets.

First letter brought in Igrot Ha’Kodesh (Pg. 142):

Serving Hashem – Learning the secrets of the Torah in depth!

  … And it is certainly permitted to point out that although in previous generations it sufficed to merely take on Chasidic customs or recite Chasidic Torah articles as if they were merely a ‘Segulah’ to read them without needing to understand their contents in depth and breadth – as back then the world was not mired in attitudes that contradict the holy Torah and the Jewish character was evident in the streets and ever the more so inside the home – nevertheless in our current generation when we are mired deeply in matters of conniving and the sorts that originate in the foreign wisdoms (and not the least from the ‘wisdom of denial/Kefirah’), on top of the fact that we mire our Chabad (i.e. our personal Chochma, Bina and Daat in our heads) in matters of Parnasa, and uncommon sprits blow in the streets…  Clearly we must counteract all of that with a deep understanding in learning the Torah’s secrets that the Zohar Ha’Kadosh calls ‘the tree of life’, which also adds life to our learning of the revealed parts of the Torah in order to improve our performance of the Mitzvot which reaches the very body of the Jew which is also holy.  After all, these matters are clarified in great depth in several places including the Igeret Ha’Kodesh of our elder Rebbe the author of the Tania (Posek Be’Nistar Ha’Torah) and the Shulchan Aruch (Posek Be’Nigleh Ha’Torah) in Siman 26, and in the Kuntres ‘Etz Chaim’ written by his grandson’s grandson and eventual replacement (אדמור מוהרש”ב).  And let this learning find favour in the eyes of the Almighty, etc.             

 ‘The Rashbi’s Zohar – Recruitment to the Zohar’s army’

Question: To you the Admor from Halmin I ask: What in your opinion is the reason for the great calamity that befell upon us – that they’ve started sending warrants for army service to the Yeshiva students in Eretz Yisrael?  These warrants imply that if they do not agree to join the army ranks they will be imprisoned in the military jail.  What is the reason for all this heavenly wrath that brought this about terrible danger?

Answer: It was actually Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who aroused the state of Israel to take the Yeshiva students to the army!

Question: How can you speak about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai that way?!  Why would he do such a thing?!  Why would he send the Yeshiva students to the army?!

Answer: Yes, yes indeed!  This is actually spelled out in the Zohar, that when one does not learn the secrets of the Torah then even the revealed Torah that he learns is worthless – since all the Torah that he learns is merely superficial lip-service! (See Tikunei Zohar #30 and #43, as well as Rav Chaim Vital’s famous introduction)  If so, the Yeshiva students have but two options: Either Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s army – or the defense army!  After all, Rashbi writes that by learning the Zohar no one can possibly harm the nation of Yisrael – and as a result we will not need any soldiers at all since nobody could possibly lift his hand to threaten Eretz Yisrael.  However, when they do not learn Zohar than all that time is wasted which brings about all these harsh decrees – God forbid!

And take to heart that this reality does not pertain only to the decree regarding army service but rather to all the decrees and all the suffering that the nation of Israel undergoes.  We find more and more young orphans as more and more people dying at a younger age – God spare us – in ever increasing numbers!  And this happens for one single reason: because we do not learn the secrets of the Torah, as Ramchal writes that only by consecutive learning of the Torah’s secrets will all the harsh decrees be abolished!

Therefore, any Rosh-Yeshiva who does not does not make a loud proclamation that the entire Yeshiva should learn at least two pages of Zohar a day (that takes but two minutes) is certainly also responsible for the evil decrees that befall our nation – including the decree of army service!

Let us fight against the heads of the Yeshivot who do not do not personally want to learn Zohar and precisely for that very reason do not want their students to learn as well – as they are the leaders of the Erev-Rav in our generation as they are responsible for all the evil decrees upon us.  It is actually spelled out in the holy Zohar that there are five types of Erev-Rav, one of which build houses for Torah study (Batei-Midrashot) and even put Torah scrolls in them – however for the same reason that the Tower of Bavel was built, as written in the Torah: ‘Let us build a tower and make a name for ourselves’ to became famous in the people’s eyes.  It is also known that the power of the Torah is only when it is learned for the sake of the Torah (Li’Shmah) and therefore one who does not want to learn Zohar is not in the category of learning for the sake of the Torah (based on the Chesed Le’Avraham).  All of the above is spelled out black on white in the holy Zohar!

Rashbi’s army enrollment warrant!  

Question:  I see how the ‘World-Wide Zohar Factory’ constantly sends so many books to synagogues and places of Torah-learning with great frequency to the point that virtually every two weeks we see a new book.  Why do you work so hard to send more and more books?  Is there a Mitzvah to send so many books in almost endless numbers?  There’s barely enough room on the shelves to hold all these books!

Answer:  Our holy Torah states: ‘And you shall act according to how the elders shall instruct you’.  And it is known that in every generation we must view the leader of the generation as if he was the Cohen-Gadol or Moshe Rabeinu.  In our generation we heed the words of Rav Shteinmann who ordered us in a letter in which he brought the words of Ramchal and urged us to learn five days consecutively.  And this is precisely why we sent so many books, so that there will be enough books for all the Yeshiva students to learn from – in order that in this merit they will be spared from going to the army by learning from the Zohar Ha’Kadosh!

A clarification and an expression of Daat Torah!

A holy cry-out from the heads of the Yeshivot and the elders of our generation in light of the terrible decree in Eretz Yisrael and the rest of the world:  We must strengthen ourselves in our Torah learning – especially in light of the words of the eldest Rosh Yeshiva, the author of ‘Ayelet Ha’Shachar’ Shlita that are published here for the first time.

A protest-disclaimer against the lack of Torah learning!

From the holy words of the Rosh-Yeshiva Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinmann Shlita’: a holy cry-out from the elders of our generation to awaken us regarding the disgrace of the holy Torah in order to strengthen our Torah learning.

Whoever is on Hashem’s side shall step forward to me!

(note: these are his precise words without any omissions – in light of all those who cited his words yet only after omitting very crucial parts of his cry-out that changed the entire tone and weight of his words)

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With God’s help – To uplift the Torah and esteem it!                           (Adar – 5773)

                                                To remove a stumbling block

A letter from Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinmann Shlita – Shushan Purim 5773

I hereby come to strengthen the Torah learners who unfortunately are all mired in great danger regarding the future of our young Torah learners.

This is the future of the Torah of our next generation!  Therefore everyone must add more Torah learning, by setting more fixed times for learning – and those who learn in Yeshiva must learn even more zealously to use every bit of time for Torah learning!

With regards to the learners in Yeshiva I request them to heed the advice of Ramchal to learn for five conductive days in order to abolish the terrible decree that wants to abolish the Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael!

And we hope that with God’s help that this will arouse heavenly assistance to abolish the evil plan of those conspire to abolish the Torah from the nation of Yisrael!

From me, who writes this letter in great sorrow due to the terrible decrees that want to abolish the Torah.  But certainly the merits of our learners shall abolish and cancel their evil plans!

Signed: A.L. Shteinmann.

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We come to further bolster the words of Rav Shteinmann Shlita’ by citing the source of his words and by presenting the greater picture according to the Emet in all its intricate parts for the benefit of all those who heed the words of the leader of our generation Rav Shteinmann Shlita’, so that they can follow his request according its basic fundamentals so as to have its maximum affect in abolishing the evil decree and to hasten our redemption in his great mercy.

These are Ramchal’s holy words (without any omissions – in light of all those who cited his words yet only after omitting very crucial parts that changed the entire tone and weight of his words)

  “This much I know, that the heavenly persecution had become so great that God-forbid it could have reached the highest places in the upper-worlds.  However we – thanks God – preempted the cure before the destructive blow since already for the last five months we’ve been predicting what’s awaiting us and we therefore instituted a great preventive measure.  It is this preventive measure that I advice before your honorable Torah leaders to institute amongst all the holy congregations in Italy – may God protect them – in order that they’ll be saved from the trap that their enemies set up to snare them in.  And certainly they should oversee that it will be properly instituted without fail, as this is a very great and important matter!

  This is the learning schedule which we instituted in our own Beit-Ha’Midrash, as we surely know what Rashbi wrote in the Zohar in P. Va’Yetzeh: ‘So long as that voice does not stop the Dibur rules and is empowered.  Therefore the Torah must not stop!’  And a litter further up it says: ‘So long as the Talmidei Chachamim hold on to the Torah then S.M. cannot hurt them!’

  We therefore set down a consecutive learning regime that will never at any point stop – and these are its guidelines:  We chose seven of us who volunteered for this purpose, who will collectively learn consecutively from the morning to the night and every single day without fail.  And they conditioned amongst them that the merits of this learning will be strictly for the salvation of Israel – and they shall count as one unit as if it was one person learning – and no one will intend for himself but rather for the sake of Israel!  And this is the order they should start with:  Immediately after the morning prayer one of them should sit down in a special place prepared for this purpose and there he should learn his fixed measure of learning until the second person will come and take the book from him.  From the place that the first one stopped the second one will continue until the third person comes and takes over from him the same way – and in such a fashion they shall continue until the stars come out at night – day after day!  And every single one of them will behave during his watch of learning as if he was in the silent Shemonei-Esrei prayer to the extent that he cannot stop for any reason in the world, and should not stop his learning until his replacement arrives and actually begins learning – so that the voice of Torah shall never stop!  And their program for learning is the Zohar Ha’Kadosh, Tikunei Zohar and Zohar Chadash – this way all of them will be learnt every single week.

  This much we know – that this is how Hashem chose to abolish all evil decrees and to serve as a wall to protect us from the harsh decree – God forbid!  And now, lest the elders of Israel disregard this advice, if it was up to me I would institute this in every single place – however at least you honorable Rabbi will heed my advice and it will be in your merit as there is nothing better for the nation of Yisrael.  And everyone can do so in his place as it is not a difficult order at all – as we succeeded in instituting it, thanks God.  We even have many such orders of learning.  And may the merciful God fulfill the requests of our hearts favorably, along with the request of all our family members – as I seek their welfare at whole, etc.”

Based on everything we mentioned above, a Yeshiva student entered the home of the great elder of Yisrael, the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinmann Shlita’, the author of ‘Ayelet Ha’Shachar’ and personally asked him the following question: Can a Yeshiva student (Bachur) learning Zohar?

He answered in exactly these words: Yes – so long as you understand!

And it also happened that once the minster of Torah – Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita’ was asked: Is it true what was publicized in your name that Yeshiva students (Bachurim) should not learn Zohar?  He answered in the following fashion:  They say many things in my name – that shouldn’t upset you.  God forbid I should say such a thing!  To the contrary, I was told by the Chazon Ish Ztl’ that there is no better Mussar book that awakens and strengthens a person like the Zohar Ha’Kadosh.  It is therefore a great must – and especially for full time learners – to toil in it!  These were his words.

As we see, the great Ramchal could not find any better advice to hasten our redemption other than to institute a Yeshiva in which they learn in consecutive watches from morning to night the Zohar Ha’Kadosh!  And this what Rav Shteinmann Shlita’ several times ordered us to do as well.

IF SO – WE HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO DO BUT GO OUT AND                                        CARRY OUT HIS REQUEST!

And by doing so we will certainly find peace of mind with regards to the threat of army enrollment that hovers over the heads of the Yeshiva students.  The advice is clear:  That in every single Yeshiva wherever it may be they shall fix a consecutive program of learning the Zohar Ha’Kadosh from its beginning to its end – and make sure they complete it and they will certainly be spared from this danger as well as from any other possible disaster – God forbid!  It is guaranteed that the decree will be abolished and their Yeshiva will not be enrolled.

As the verse states: “Would only my nation listen to my advice – and Yisrael would go in my ways.”  Had we already taken Ramchal’s advice to learn collectively the Zohar Ha’Kadosh by merely reading its text consecutively they would have already left us alone and we would have been saved from all those who rise against us to hurt us, and we would have already attained the spirit of purity!  And as we read in Daniel (7:13): “And behold in the clouds of the sky is the image” of Melech Ha’Mashiach – and Yisrael will prevail!

Ohr Ha’Zohar #79

Questions and answers for our dear brethren who fell victim to the Erev-Rav Rabbis who fight a war against Mashiach!

QUESTION: Is it possible that someone may learn Torah and seem to love the Torah – yet at the same time may actually be denigrating the holy Torah?

ANSWER: We find in the Gemorah (Eruvin 64a) that Rabbi Acha Bar Chanina asks – What is conveyed by the verse: “One who shepherds harlots will lose a fortune”?  One who says regarding one part of the Torah that it is appealing and regarding another part of the Torah that it is not appealing will lose the fortune of the Torah!

  Rashi explains as follows: The words “One who shepherds harlots – רועה זונות” – is an acronym forIt is appealing, therefore I will shepherd it – זו נאה וארענה”!  What Rashi means to say is that one who shepherds (i.e. learns) only the parts of the Torah that appear appealing to him (‘appealing’ in Hebrew is זו נאה – which is an acronym for זונה – harlot) will eventually destroy the honor of the Torah.  Furthermore, the Torah will eventually be forgotten from him.

  This should impress upon us that the honor of the Torah is evident only when we learn all its parts – including the wisdom of the Torah’s secrets which has been clarified in Chasidut.  And one who – God forbid – negates the learning of Kabalah and Chasidut and gives the impression that this part of the Torah is not appealing is directly diminishing the honor of the Torah.  Therefore he is destined to eventually forget his Torah!  This is the understanding according to Rashi.

  In spite of my impoverished understanding, I would also like to offer my own commentary.  When the Gemorah said that he will lose a fortune, this was said in reference to the fortune of the Torah that he will lose – and not a financial fortune.  And it is well known that our sages impressed upon us that The Torah is rich in one place and poor in another place (Barayta of the thirty-two measures – in measure fifteen).  If so, then certainly when someone negates the words of the Torah in one place since he finds interest only in the words of the Torah in another place, then per-force he remains poor in his Torah understanding and thereby looses the fortune of the Torah.  If so, then ever the more so in our case, as it is well know that any Torah knowledge which is missing the understanding on the level of the Torah’s secrets is certainly dry and poor (as clarified in Tikunei Zohar #30).  Perhaps this was Rashi’s intention when he equated the fortune of the Torah to the honor of the Torah – since the Torah’s fortune is actually its honor!

  Let us bring to light the words of Rav Chaim Vital (the disciple of the Arizal) who wrote in vary harsh terms that not learning the secrets of the Torah is by all means the negation of the Torah’s honor since the honor of the Torah is necessarily its secrets.  Let us examine his words (in his famous introduction):

  By all means Rabbi Akiva attained these secrets in this world.  It is therefore very fitting that which we find in the Mishna (at the end of Sotah) that ‘When Rabbi Akiva passed away the honor of the Torah disappeared!’ (as we know, Rabbi Akiva would learn piles and piles of Hallachot from each and every tip of the Torah’s letters.  By doing so he demonstrated that there is nothing for naught in the Torah – even the tips of the letters – and there is no greater honor to the Torah than that!)  In my opinion this is also the meaning of the Mishna (Avot 6:2): ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi says: Each and every day a heavenly voice emanates from Mt. Chorev and cries out: Oy to the comers of the world from the disgrace of the Torah!’  Certainly so long as they toil only in the revealed portions of the Torah and its stories the Torah wears its mourning widow clothes and sackcloth.  The nations of the world can then content: ‘In what way is your Torah better than ours?  After all, your Torah is also nothing more than stories from this menial world!’  Certainly there is no greater disgrace to the Torah than that!  If so, then Oy to the comers of this world due to the disgrace of the Torah!  And why?  Because they do not toil in the wisdom of Kabalah – as it is specifically this wisdom that gives honor to the Torah!

  We just saw explicitly in the words of Rav Chaim Vital ample support to that which we claimed earlier – namely that the lack of learning the secrets of the Torah is a negation of the Torah’s honor.  If so, then Oy to the learners who learn the Torah without its secrets!

  Another very important point which Rav Chaim Vital stresses in his words is the positive influence of learning the secrets of the Torah – and not only the adverse affects of not learning them.  In other words, he stresses that certainly the Torah is very much honored, esteemed and elevated in everyone’s eyes when it is learned along with its secrets.  Along with this Rav Chaim Vital also stresses the direct opposite – that by ignoring the learning of the Torah’s secrets as if to say that it is not a beautiful and appealing subject of the Torah (in the words of the Gemorah that we began our discussion with), this is not only the negation of the Torah’s honor – but certainly its disgrace as well!  Not only do we not honor the Torah by not learning its secrets but we disgrace it as well – God forbid!

  With all of the above we can answer the question you asked: Is it possible that someone may learn the Torah yet actually be disgracing it?  Based on the words of Rav Chaim Vital the answer is obvious.  As we saw, according him this is precisely why (Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi came) in the Mishna (Avot 6:2) to impress upon us that ‘Oy to the Torah learners who although they actually learn the holy Torah they are actually disgracing it since they are not learning the secrets of the Torah as well!’ [The above-quoted was taken from the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad]

QUESTION:  You claim that one who does not learn Zohar will eventually forget his learning in the revealed parts of the Torah.  Where did you derive that?  Why should that be?

ANSWER:  The answer to this question is written in the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’.  Rashi (in Eruvin 64a) writes: He will destroy the honor of Torah and it will eventually be forgotten from him.  Although his  beginning words certainly fit the Gemorah, we should very well wonder why he ended off saying that the Torah will eventually be forgotten from him.

  The first part is definitely clear – as we explained, certainly the cause of the diminishment of the honor of Torah and its disgrace comes from our negligence to learn the parts of the Torah which one may not find so appealing to him.  What we don’t understand is why Rashi ended off by stressing that he is also destined to forget the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing and actually did learn them?  Should we just accept Rashi’s words faithfully since he is the Rabbi of all of Israel – or can we also understand intellectually where Rashi is coming from?  Upon first impression, we cannot intellectually comprehend why not wanting to learn one part of the Torah that he does not find appealing should necessary cause him to forget the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing and therefore did learn them and even reviewed and memorized them!

  Furthermore, before we begin to answer our puzzling question, from the very question itself we discover another very interesting point.  The verse ‘He who shepherds harlots will lose a fortune’ is understood to be saying that due to his decision to shepherd harlots he will not only lose what he could have potentially earned but that this will also cause him to lose what he currently already has.  According to this, the Gemorah that used this verse as a parable to one who shepherds harlots in Torah terms (i.e. by wanting to learn only the parts of the Torah that he finds appealing) and therefore he will lose even more than what he merely did not want to learn.  But isn’t that obvious?  Certainly since he does not want to learn a particular part of the Torah he will definitely lose out on its knowledge!  Rather, it must be that this parable comes to warn us that he will eventually lose that which he did learn as well – even that which he currently does possess in his memory (as Rashi states).  This is a very revolutionary nuance in the words of Rashi that not everyone pays attention to.  However, be as it may (i.e. whether people notice this nuance or not) our question still requires an answer: Why should he forget the parts of the Torah that he did learn and even currently possesses in his memory?  In my opinion there are two possible answers to our question, both of which are Emet:

  We’ll begin with a simpler answer, one that touches upon the cause of remembrance and forgetfulness.  As we know, what we don’t understand properly we quickly forget.  We’ll demonstrate this with two examples.  The first example of this is from the accepted custom to memorize Mishnayot by heart which in itself is a very noble practice (see the book “Hayom Hayom” – 9th of Sivan).  It is clearly evident that the more one understands the content of the Mishnayot the easier it will for him to learn them by heart – as well as to memorize them for a long duration.  However, one who merely regurgitates the Mishnayot like a parrot without understand what he is saying will quickly forget it (unlike the parrot who may actually remember)!  The second example is from our Gemorah learning.  We know that when we learn a Talmudic discussion only superficially and fast we will quickly forget it.  However, when one invests the time and effort necessary to learn a topic in the Gemorah thoroughly by understanding the roots of that topic he will surely remember it for a very long time.  From the abovementioned examples we can surely appreciate the first answer to our question – why should he forget what he already learned by not learning all the areas in the Torah?  The answer is that clearly by ignoring a particular aspect of the Torah one is limiting his understanding in any another topic he may learn.  Not only that, but he may very well have misunderstood and even contorted that which he thinks he understands!  Why should that be?  As we explained – the Torah is ‘rich’ in one place and ‘poor’ in another place.  And since he is not willing to learn from the place which is ‘rich’ (since it is not appealing to him) – his overall understanding in any other place in the Torah is therefore necessarily poor.  If so, then we understand very well why Torah that is learned in a limited capacity – in one particular place and not another – is necessarily at risk to be forgotten!  Conversely then, when we learn the holy Torah in all its facets our overall understanding is necessarily enriched and our learning will be properly understood and well-founded.  In such a case, his Torah will be not quickly be forgotten – if at all!  If so, then this matter is applicable a thousand times more so when it comes to an individual who is missing the learning of the Torah’s secrets.  After all, regarding such Torah learning without the secrets we know that: 1) the Tikunei Zohar (#30) calls such Torah as ‘dry’ and poor.  2) The GRA writes that in such a case he does not understand even the revealed parts that he thinks he learned and will not understand any Hallacha correctly.  3) In the words of Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzirah, without the secrets of the Torah our learner is walking in the dark, like a blind man in a chimney!  With all of the above-said, it is clear like the sun why Rashi wrote that without learning all the areas in the Torah even what he did learn is bound to be forgotten from him.  And this matter is not only logical but also evident from the external world around us.  It is proven and not only a matter of faith!

  A second explanation of why Rashi wrote that his Torah will be forgotten from him is also not hard to understand – as it is based on precisely why this person is learning Torah in the first place.  As we presented our first answer we clarified that such a person’s Torah learning is surely dry and poor which is the reason why it is bound to be forgotten from him.  But now we will shift our focus away from how he is learning towards why he is learning.  It is perfectly clear that when someone learns only the Torah that he finds appealing to his eyes with the Chutzpah and the brashness of one who ‘shepherds harlots’ and by doing so he negates and undermines the secrets of the Torah which is the part of the Torah that he does not find appealing to his eyes – then this proves that his learning is not for the sake of heaven but rather like one who sheppards harlots (which are the parts of the Torah that he does find appealing) – that is to say he is learning for personal enjoyment.  If so, then we all know our sages’ famous teaching that Any love which is dependent upon something else is bound to be discontinued as soon as the factor upon this love is dependent upon will stop.  We find such love to often be dependent upon money or honor.  If so we can easily appreciate that as soon as the money or the honor will cease – so will the love.  Therefore, when one is learning for honor reasons then as soon as the honor ceases so will his love for the Torah – at which point the Torah will leaving him or he will live the Torah!

[Taken from the book ‘The Rebbe and Yahadut Sepharad’]

 

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