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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nanach Torah for Tisha B'Av

As we know from Halacha, except for the parts of Torah that relate to mourning or the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, it is forbidden to learn Torah on Tisha B'Av (it also applies to someone who is sitting Shiva) as the Torah gladdens the heart. Accordingly, as the regular Chok L'Yisroel learning includes T'Nach, Mishna, Gemara, Kaballah, Halacha & Mussar, and thus would be forbidden to be learned on Tisha B'Av, there is a special Chok L'Yisroel learning for Tisha B'Av that is in the Sephardic Siddur called Ish Matzliach (pages 839-848). Thus, the following is a translation for the Mussar - Torah ethics - part of this from its original source of the Sefer Sha'arei Kedusha, Part 2, Gate 4:

"Through hatred, G-d forbid, one sins to his fellow by harming him/her in different evil ways. Our Rabbis of blessed memory say that hating people drives a person from this world, for he, so to speak, hates HaKadosh Baruch Hu for creating him. For in fact, we are all children of Hashem our G-d, while this guy hates our forefathers Avrohom, Yitzchok & Ya'akov from whom the fellow that this guy hates comes from (while hating people in general doesn't exactly help one in life unless the goy that he hates is Anti-Semitic or missionary enticing Jews to another religion, G-d forbid, the prohibition of hatred is applicable specifically towards Jews, which includes even Jews who are not "religious" so long as they don't behave like an Anti-Semitic goy or missionary). For behold, all Yiddishe Neshamos are attached to Hashem Yisborach, so how could this guy hate his fellow Jew?"

"Our Rabbis of blessed memory say that during the period of the Second Temple, there were great Tzadikim & Talmidei Chachomim. So why then was the Beis HaMikdash destroyed? It was only due to the sin of Sinas Chinam - baseless hatred. Our current exile which is a continuation of the destruction of the Second Temple (for some 1,940 years now) has been so long only due to this very sin."

"There is a great significant difference between this sin of Sinas Chinam and all other sins. For with all other sins, one who commits them is only doing the sin as the time that he actually is actively doing it, but the sin of Sinas Chinam works differently. This sin involves the heart, which means that one is continuously and every moment transgresses the prohibition of "You shall not hate your brother in your heart" (Vayikra 19:17), as well as the command in the following verse "You shall love your fellow as yourself". Moreover, it is about this last Mitzva just mentioned that the Rabbis say that this is the great principle of the Torah upon which everything else is dependent upon."

"Moshe Rabbeinu merited his great spiritual level only because he loved Jews and took part in their pain and suffering as our Rabbis of blessed memory point out in a couple of verses "He (Moshe) saw their work load (of the Jews working for the Egyptians)" (Shmos 2:11) & "Now, please forgive their sin (of the Golden Calf); and if you won't forgive them, then please erase my name from Your book that You wrote (the Torah)" (Shmos 32:32) (NOTE: 32 is the Gematria of heart. It is in this very verse that Rabbeinu's name is hinted when in the Hebrew V'Im Ayin Mecheini Na" it spells backwards to read Ani Nachman - that even if under normal circumstances, we may not be worthy of Hashem's forgiveness, it is through the merit of the Tzadik Amiti - Rabbeinu Nachman - that forgiveness is possible). Therefore, Moshe was equal to the entire Jewish people, as noted in the verse (Yeshaya 63:11): "They remembered the days of old, of Moshe (with) his people"."

Now with above being said, I want to let you all know of a rabbi whose name was also Moshe who was just Niftar last night - the night of Tisha B'Av. He was known as Rabbi Moshe Chait, Dean of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Yerushalayim, and a master of Mussar. Now before anyone comes to any judgments here, I frankly don't care if he was for Nanach or not for Nanach. Chances are is that he wasn't one who spoke Loshon Hora -evil gossip- about other people or groups as he was the dean of a Yeshiva that is named after the Chofetz Chaim who, in turn, was named as such after the Sefer that he wrote which is a collection of the Halachos of the prohibition of Loshon Hora. I certainly believe that it was nothing short of Hashgacha Peratis - Divine Providence - that Rabbi Moshe Chait passed away specifically on Tisha B'Av, for the Chofetz Chaim in the introduction to his Sefer brings the Gemoro in Yoma 9b that it was because of the sin of Loshon Hora - itself a symptom of Sinas Chinam - that brought about the destruction of the Second Temple. Thus, Rabbi Chait's passing on this very date is meant to be a reminder for the rest of us to quit speaking Loshon Hora.

On a personal note, when I used to work with network marketing, I learned about dealing with people in this type of business industry, "Love the few, and work with the rest". That is, not everyone will buy your story about the business opportunity or product you have to offer. Indeed, don't cut off your relationship with them. Still love them, they are still human beings who have their own life the same way as you have yours. It's just that when it comes to business, you have to concentrate your energies on those willing to buy your story, or work with you. And the same thing applies here. Not everyone will buy our Nanach, Petek or Saba story. So long as one is not attempting to stop your Hafatza, still love him as a Jew who also has his own unique qualities, the Nekudos Tovos that is mentioned in the very beginning of Likutei Halachos. It's just that when it comes to Hafatza, you have to concentrate your energies on those willing to buy your story, or work with you.

May we merit the immediate rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash in the merit of the collective good deeds of the entire Jewish people, and especially in the merit of Ahavas Yisroel which describes the life of Rabbeinu Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman.


nothinbut100% said...

i just wanted to add 2 things to ur great article:
1) i asked a local rabbi the following question after a discussion with a friend, that, sinas chinam "baseless hatred" is exactly that, u know, like hatin someone for a sterotype or prejudice and the like. but what if ur hatred is "based" like some yid u know robbed ur car or broke into ur house or even worse things and the wide spectrum in between. most yids i know hate a fellow yid cuz its based on somethin, not baseless, rather a good reason. the local rabbi i asked said " no, even him u have to love (the guy who robbed ur car and broke into ur house) try and understand him and love him, etc. the torah wants us to basically be tzadikim cuz thats very hard to do.

2) just to continue the remez in pasuk, shmos 32:32, is that if u keep readin it it says "ani nachman (the letters) yud aleph m'uman". yud aleph - the initials of saba and m'uman, that rabbeinus in uman and the petek hakadosh na na nach nachma nachman m'UMAN. gevalt!!!
(the last nun of the m'uman in the pasuk is the "leg" part of the taf. a taf is made up of a reish and a nun, i think.)

nissim said...

did you mean "work with the few, love the rest?" that seems more what you're saying.

taw is chet and nun according to LM 1, i.e. receiving chochmah through malkhut.