Newsletter

THE HIDDEN WORLD

Roy Neuberger - May. 11, 2018


“The heavens declare the glory of G-d, and the expanse of the sky tells of His handiwork. Day following day brings expressions of praise, and night following night bespeaks wisdom. There is no speech and there are no words; their sound is unheard.” (Psalm 19)

 

Hashem operates the universe in silence. He can be found, but we have to search.

 

Tzaddikim, holy people, imitate His trait of hidden-ness. Moses was concealed in Midian for forty years (Bereishis Rabbah 100:10). King David was summoned from the wilderness to become king of Israel. The Rambam says that the process of teshuva, repentance, includes exile, because “exile atones for sin” (Hilchos Teshuva 2:4) The Vilna Gaon zt”l is known to have imposed exile on himself. The Baba Sali ran from the public eye.

 

In the surrounding culture there is an industry called Public Relations, through which people seek to promote themselves and their projects. In that world, the very essence of success is to be seen by everybody. This alone indicates the deep sickness of that culture.

 

Those who study Daf Yomi recently began to learn Seder Kodshim. The very first subject discussed in Meseches Zevachim reveals an amazing world. The entire Seder begins with the subject of “intention.” If a sacrifice is brought in the Holy Temple without proper intention, the sacrifice can be invalidated.

 

Does anyone see intention? It is totally invisible. No one sees, except Hashem!

 

The ramifications are mind-boggling. The entire world of thought and emotion is subject only to the scrutiny of the King of the Universe! We are commanded not only to subject all our actions to the Torah, but also our inner world.

 

We can learn from tefillin: first we place the tefillin next to our heart, then next to our brain, and only then next to our hand. I believe this reveals that our emotions must first be subject to the control of the Torah, then our thoughts and only after that will our actions be in line with Hashem’s will.

 

Can we control this inner world? Clearly, the Torah expects this. Don’t we say every day “v’ahavta es Hashem elokecha … You shall love your G-d.” Can we do that? Of course we can! The Torah also commands, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” (Leviticus 19:17) Our entire Exile has come about through sinas chinom, unwarranted hatred between Jew and Jew! Can we control that? Of course we can! This week we read the Tochacha, which begins with these fateful words: “If you consider My decrees loathsome ….” (Leviticus 26:15) Can we control this? We had better control it!

 

We say every day: one of the “precepts whose fruits a person enjoys in this World but whose principal remains intact for him in the World to Come” is “iyun tefilla …absorption in prayer.” (Meseches Shabbos 127a) We are standing before the King of Kings! When we speak to Him, do we pause to reflect on every word?

 

Rabbi Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt”l trained himself as a young boy to concentrate intensely. He became a “cemented cistern that does not lose a drop.” (Ethics of the Fathers 2:11) If we want to train our emotions and thoughts to reach the standards expected by the King of the Universe, we should begin to tremble and shake. How can we do it?

 

The question is: how can we not do it!

 

Recently, travelling in Yehuda and Shomron (which some people refer to as the West Bank of the Jordan River), we saw the homes of our Islamic cousins springing up on many hills and valleys. I was reminded of the following words: “Bifroach reshaim … when the wicked bloom like grass and all the doers of iniquity blossom, it is to destroy them until eternity.” (Psalm 92) A hateful world surrounds us. A plague threatens our existence!

 

Can we deal with it?

 

My friends, the sanctity of our inner world will determine whether we survive. It is that simple.

“All the nations surround me. In the Name of Hashem I cut them down.” (Psalm 118) Dovid Hamelech reveals our strength! “Ele ba’rechev v’ele ba’sussim … Some with chariots, and some with horses, but we … in the Name of Hashem, our G-d we call out!” (Psalm 20)

 

We saw in our prayers, Taher libainu l’avdecha b’emes … purify our heart to serve you sincerely.” The effort is intense. Scrutiny is required at every moment. I believe this is an important part of our responsibilities during Sefiras ha Omer. “May it be Your will, Hashem, our G-d the G-d of our forefathers, that in the merit of the Omer Count that I have counted … may there be corrected whatever blemish I have caused in the sefirah …. May I be cleansed and sanctified with the holiness of Above, and, through this, may abundant bounty flow in all the worlds. And may it correct our lives, spirits and souls from all sediment and blemish. May it cleanse us and sanctify us with Your exalted holiness!” (Prayer following Sefiras HaOmer)

 

Hashem is total ruchnius, spirituality. In order to live a life of Truth, we have to transform ourselves into spiritual beings, which means regarding the world of spirituality as the normal world. The world of spirituality is real and the material world is only a creation of the world of spirituality. The surrounding culture has it backwards.

 

“Like a shepherd inspecting his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate and consider the soul of all the living!” (Rosh Hashana Prayer)

 

May the Name of Hashem shine on our faces! The Holy Temple is coming.

 

“Radiance of the Universe, my soul pines for Your love! Please, Oh G-d, heal her now by showing her the pleasantness of Your radiance. Then she will be strengthened and healed, and eternal gladness will be hers.” (Yedid Nefesh, which we say on Shabbos Afternoon)


 

Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive