Newsletter

FREEDOM FROM WHAT?

Roy Neuberger - Apr. 12, 2019


My chavrusa (study partner), a respected rebbe in Yerushalayim, mentioned a disturbing conversation he had with one of his talmidim, who asked, “If marijuana is legal, why shouldn’t we smoke it?” In other words, why shouldn’t we be on drugs?


And now it is Shabbos Hagadol, the eve of Passover, the Season of Our Freedom.

From what were we freed in Egypt?

Recently, Rabbi Shlomo Bussu Shlita”h (grandson of the Baba Sali), was discussing the current generation. He said there is a terrible problem, namely that we tend to go through our lives mechanically. One can perform mitzvos without thought and pray without emotion.

My friends, how did our ancestors get out of Egypt? They screamed! They cried!

“The children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their outcry … went up to G-d. G-d heard their moaning and G-d remembered the covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.” (Exodus 2:23-24)

We should remember that the greatest people in history were not afraid to cry. Yosef Hatzaddik (Joseph) cried: “Yosef … went into the room and wept there.” (Genesis 43:30). Dovid Hamelech (King David) cried: “Every night I drench my bed with tears!” (Psalm 6)

We are not allowed to be like robots. Torah greatness mandates emotion. The first place we put tefillin is next to our heart. “Rachmana liba boie … Hashem desires the heart.” (Rashi on Sanhedrin 106b) The sweetest people in the world are talmidei chachamim, great rabbis. They radiate the light of the Garden of Eden. This week in Yerushalayim I met two great Torah figures and I was overwhelmed by their sweetness. Where else do you find this in our entire world?

“All those who mourn for Yerushalayim will see her joy.” (Taanis 30b)

“And you shall love the L-rd your G-d….” (Shema)

“The supreme G-d, Who … brings a Redeemer … with love!” (Shemoneh Esreh)

My friends, we must guard ourselves that we do not become – G-d forbid – a generation of robots and zombies, addicted to drugs, to technology and to pleasure. We cannot seek artificial happiness. We have to seek Reality, crying out to Hashem and awaiting His Redemption! As Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt”l says, “Sadness is essential in life,” because that is exactly what reminds us that the essence of life is not in this world. The essence of life is the World to Come. 

We cannot be afraid of pain. There is abundant pain these days, but the days of Redemption will bring endless simcha, endless Shabbos, endless sanctity, endless oneness with the King of Kings. As we enter the Season of our Freedom, it is vital to remember from what we are freeing ourselves. We are freeing ourselves from slavery to the culture of the empty nations around us. We are freeing ourselves from a desire for a life of drugged happiness which is like death. 

We are the Children of Israel, who are destined to meet the King of Kings, and for that we must be awake. “Wake up! Wake up! For your light has come …. Awaken! Awaken! Utter a song. The glory of Hashem is revealed upon you!” (Lecha Dodi) 

May we all merit to experience true freedom and see the rebuilt Yerushalayim!

 

Recent Posts


Tags

Rosh Hashana heavenly gates materialism Jewish People Golus Ishmael slavery Earth war barley Red Heifer missiles culture Galil moon priests holiday Esther Hebrew Torah Chanukkah Tzuk etan Laban Miraglim Exodus Holy Ark tabernacle Ishmeal kesuba fragrance Moshaich Holy land incense leprosy Greeks salvation Judah Psalm yeshiva Ashkenazi stars fault idolatry Chofetz Chaim Maccabeans Moses Ezekiel Banias kiddush keys angels Matriarchs redemption United Nations India evil inclination chessed Jewish holidays Edom tremors messiah song Day of Atonement Rebbe automobiles rosh chodesh Passover Seder Canaan Yaakov Solar eclipse pain shield of Abraham Jews Rabbis 2020 Vision repentance rabbi liberation bird Repentence sin Second Temple eternity Rebecca Isaiah Moab Western Wall prophet Samuel prayer book Sodom prayers Abrahem Amram Ammon King Solomon Sea of Galilee Mount Sinai Magog High Holy Days light Tallis Zechariah Passover logic Midrash Divine presence Ten Commandments Aharon Sefiras haOmer commandment kinneret Sukkos mitzvos Final redemption G-d Malbim Mount Hermon prophets Rome Terror Attack in Jerusalem Heavenly Mercy self-worship Sabbath matzos David compassion hubris Golan mikveh, Sabbath Shushan Sukkah cries Miriam Boaz Children of Israel Egypt Sephardi stones Garden of Eden ethics Temple Mount Genesis heaven Achashveirosh evil Maimonides Solomon world to come chaos Mordechai Pharaoh kosher Balak Amalek patriarchs'matriarchs Matisyahu Bais Hamikdosh Benjamin Nation of Israel spies Judaism Tisha b'Av Golden Calf Ishamael sun Psalms menorah bris milah God death slaves Faith biblical Parsha water Chol haMoed enemies Master of the Universe redeemer murder Talmud Torah scholars night Babylonia Bilaam terrorist Western World seder Rabbi Akiva Jewish fires Holy Temple sacrifices locusts Baku Prophecy miracle media Temple Mount Zion Eglon Beit Hamikdash terrorists bible Shabbos Yom Kippur persecution terror plague peace Pinchas blessing King David Gog Babylon Judgement Day tears terrorism dreams three weeks Dead Sea Jew brotherhood Lot evolution Geula Tefillin Rosh Hashanah Zion heavenly throne alone King of the Universe Song of Songs yarmulke Angel of Death eternal creation fear purity Teshuva deluge patriarchs darkness Leah spirituality High Priest Red Sea shmittah Elul Eve America Jacob mikveh pray Samuel flood New Moon tablets Hasmoneans Raiders of the Lost Ark Noah Isaac Avraham Samuel the Prophet shofar idol Moshe Land of Israel prayer forefathers Zohar judgement Protective edge Jerusalem Ruth Esau Shechina Hagar Hashem Sages Tu b'Av mitzva Day of Judgement Moshiach rain cholent earthquake exile violence Jeremiah Chafetz Chaim Chanukah Abraham king Yerushalayim Jewish festival trees Joseph minyan Rachel Torah portion Lunar eclipse Tu b'Shvat danger Purim Shavuos synagogue meraglim miracles Adam resurrection spiritual Holiness gossip repent Europe holy secret lights sanctity Rashi Haman Father in Heaven prophet Blame esrog ancestors Holocaust Zion, Angel paradise siddur Israel survival soul Macabees Creator Sarah angel End of Days

Archive