DIVREI YOEL PARASHAS CHAYEI SARA
1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Chayei Sara, pp. 459-460) discusses the miracles that occured to Sara Imeinu. The lights she lit for Shabbos would burn for the entire week, and the dough that she needed for challah would miraculously expand. The Rebbe explains that through Sara's performance of these mitzvos, blessing was brought to the entire world. When Sara passed away, these nissim ceased, but when Yitzchok married Rivka and brought her into Sara's tent, these miraculous occurances returned. At this, Yitzchok was comforted.
The Gemara in Meseches Shabbos (23b) teaches that one who is accustomed to performing the mitzvos of Shabbos and Chanukah lights merits sons who are talmidei chachamim. The Rebbe cites the Tur, which teaches that one should make the lights "yafeh, beautiful." The Rebbe connects this statement of the Tur with the minhag to wish a choson that his marriage should ascend to the level of "yafeh." The Rebbe explains that this refers to the yichud ha'elyon, the uniting of Hashem's Names, and this unity will be apparent in the time of Moshiach. If a woman concentrates on these concepts and prays for the final redemption when lighting the Shabbos lights, she will merit sons who are talmidei chachamim.
To have children who are talmidei chachamim is the pure and holy aspiration of every Jewish woman. Today, unfortunately, the klipah of the Zionists has blinded the Eyes of many, so that they are incapable of understanding the truth in regard to chinuch. Throughout the generations, the purity of our education system has been foremost in the minds of Klal Yisroel. Accepting money from the Zionist government, as many charedi schools do, tarnishes the purity of the chinuch. Through acceptance of Zionist money, these institutions come under the thumb of the heretics, bowing to every evil request of the government, even to the extent of bringing secular studies into yeshivos and seminaries. This runs contrary to the traditional chinuch that has been passed down to us through the generations. The Rebbe writes in Vayoel Moshe, Ma'amar Loshon Hakodesh, Siman 50, as follows:
"In regard to the issue of the girls' education, very, very great care must be taken in the evil and bitter matter of secular books, R"L, which are filled with every negative desire, heresy and rejection of Hashem, R"L. These books are filled with every source and outgrowth of evil and destruction and they destroy the heart and soul of every person who reads them. Unfortunately, such books can be found even in the homes of kosher Jews. No thought is given as to how these books are destroying the children. Girls are especially susceptable to being damaged from these books. Since they do not learn Torah, they tend to look at these books more frequently. It is the obligation of parents and school prncipals to do everything within their power to ensure that children should not have access to such material. The Gemara (Meseches Sanhedrin 90a) teaches: One who reads seforim chitzonim has no share in the World to Come."
The Rebbe articulates here a point that must be understood. The Rebbe is teaching us the Torah-true way, the path we must follow if we would like to be true servants of Hashem. Many people claim that the Rebbe's Torah-true vision of chinuch suppresses them and prevents them from living fulfilling lives. They claim that the Rebbe's uncompromising adherence to a system of chinuch that forbids secular education causes suppression, oppression, and depression. The fact of the matter is that this claim is all the advice of the Satan. The Gemara tells us clearly: "One who reads seforim chitzonim has no share in the World to Come." We must listen to the Torah rather than the non-Jewish world. We must listen to our sages, and not the heretics who claim that secular education will help us "advance in our lives." Besides, how can any believing Jew complain that the mitzvos are "too hard" or "too restrictive"?
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Someone once complained to the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, that his standards of tznius were causing people discomfort in the heat, and the Rebbe should therefore back down so that people should not suffer in the summer. The Rebbe responded as follows: "Firstly, we see that even in the coldest parts of winter, they do not cover themselves properly, so they cannot truly be that concerned for their physical comfort. Secondly, we all know that if the non-Jewish style denanded that they dress in accordance with my standards, they would do so regardless of the discomfort involved. Thirdly, what kind of a complaint is that, that it's hard?! Mitzvos were not given for our pleasure, but rather, as a yoke upon our neck." (The Rebbe Speaks by R' Dovid Meisels p. 357)
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It can be seen clearly that all those who left the Rebbe's pure and holy system of Chinuch descended lower and lower, until they sank to the lowest depths. These people are living in a Gehinom on earth, in constant pursuit of an elusive happiness that they never find. They seek to poison their minds with heresy and immorality, all the while defaming the true Torah Jews and the Rebbe for "suppressing" his community. These people claim they had "dreams" and "aspirations" of their "place in the world." Alas -- they claim -- their terrible, fanatical, ultra-religious parents, teachers, and communities suppressed them! They claim that secular education doesn't bring to heresy. "Just look at me," they say, pointing to themselves. "I am not an apikoris!" The problem with this argument is that these people are sunk so far in heresy that they do not even realize that they have in fact become apikorsim. We must distance ourselves from these heretics who give power to the sitra achara. When Moshiach comes, he will point to those who held fast to the Torah as those who brought him. Those who left the Torah will be held up for shame and disgrace as those who delayed his coming.
Our pure Jewish homes are our greatest pride. The sweet innocence of our children is our life's work. The taharah that is clearly evident on our children's faces stands as proud testament to the purity in which they were conceived and born. Hashem has nachas, kavyachol, from every single Jewish child. The geulah is brought closer with every tiny neshamah'le brought down to this world. Chas v'shalom to say that to build a Jewish home is not enough of an accomplishment of which to be proud. One who believes this denies Hashem, His holy Torah, and the importance of Moshiach. This perspective is born from reading secular literature, which in turn, causes a poisonous admiration of the non-Jewish world. Every believing Jew realizes that raising a large Yiddishe familly is the greatest pride and accomplishment. Those who dedicated their lives to serving Hashem and building Jewish homes can now look back at their lives and see how they have accomplished so much for Klal Yisroel. They will take the merit of their life's work with them to the next world. This is not the case with those who mocked the idea that building an Ehrliche Jewish family is one of the primary goals of a Jew's life. They can look back on their life and see how they wasted it on a career that provides them with nothing for the world that follows this one.
Every person who has eyes in his head can see clearly the kedushah and tahara that surrounds every Jewish home that is conducted properly, versus the tumah that surrounds those who forsook the Torah-true traditions of our great Rabbis and teachers. However, a clear perception regarding this matter can only be gained through total isolation from the depravity and heresy that surrounds us. Let us band together and strengthen each other, so that we may follow the path of true happiness. The true happiness of a Jew is when he looks at his beautiful, ehrliche, Yiddishe family gathered around the Shabbos table, glowing with the holy light of Shabbos. Can there be a greater joy than this?
All of us who will follow the Torah without compromise must stick together. Now is the time. Let us call to the world: "Whoever is with Hashem, come to us!" It does not matter what kind of hat or jacket one wears. We can look around at our beautiful Yiddishe families and say: "Ashreinu Ma Tov Chelkeinu!" How fortunate are we that the Shechinah rests in our midst, due to our holy families.
The Rebbe famously teaches (Divrei Yoel Parashas Shemos) that a truly ehrliche, Yiddishe home has its root in Eretz Yisroel, and like every shul and Beis Medrash, will be transported to Eretz Yisroel in the time of Moshiach. One can clearly see the holy beauty on the pure and innocent faces of all Yiddishe children who are given a proper chinuch. Those who think that secular studies should be introduced into our sacred institutions of chinuch want to destroy this concept of a Jewish Home. Chazal teach us that as evil as Paro was, Lavan was even worse. Paro decreed that only the baby boys should be killed, but Lavan wanted to destroy everything. Those who want to introduce secular education are worse than Lavan. Lavan was evil and he knew he was evil, yet he still obeyed a direct command he received from Hashem not to harm Yaakov. These modern-day heretics want to uproot the entire Jewish nation as did Lavan, but, unlike Lavan, they believe themselves to be the righteous saviors of Klal Yisroel. Chazal tell us how to respond to this type of person: blunt his teeth. Smack him across the face and tell him: "Fool, you are not the savior of Klal Yisroel! You are the destroyer of Klal Yisroel!"
Most, if not all "religious" Zionist colleges promote the false idea that one can become some kind of "Jewish scholar," through learning Jewish history -- through the lens of Zionism, of course -- rather than through learning Torah. "Talmudic studies" are just another course in the program, in the minds of the foolish heretics. The true wisdom, they claim, is found when "Judaic studies" are combined with secular concepts such as history, science, and philosophy. This twisted mindset is a carbon-copy of the mindset of the Yevanim. Chazal compare Yavan to the concept of bloodshed. On the surface, this seems strange. The Yevanim did not want to physically kill the Jewish People, but rather, to make them become modern and secular. However, this is exactly the reason that Malchus Yavan is described by Chazal as characterized by bloodshed. When the heretics attempt to water down the Torah, by denying its divine validity and mixing foreign ideas and beliefs into it, this destroys the Jewish People, killing their neshamos, R"L. This was the goal of the Yevanim, and it is the goal of the Zionists. It is our job to take the place of the Chashmona'im and defend the honor of the Torah.
David Hamelech says in Tehillim: "Those who hate You, I hate." Surely, there is no one Hashem hates more than the Zionists and those who want to destroy our children through secular studies. We must actively distance ourselves and our children from the satanical ones who wish to destroy Yiddishkeit. We must shun the apikorsim who attempt to convince us that following a superlative standard in Torah observance is burdensome and restrictive. Many will claim, with no basis at all, that all of the Rebbe's followers are discontent in their lives of "restriction" and "oppression." We must stand up without fear and tell these sinners: Those who follow the Rebbe have found true happiness and satisfaction in their lives, unlike you, who are wasting your lives in heresy, licentiousness, idol worship, and mockery of the righteous. Let it be known to the heretics: Hashem hates you, and so do we.
The Beirach Moshe (Parashas Tazria), ZT"L, depicts the concept of a proper Jewish home. He explains that a woman desires to specifically have a baby boy so that he will grow up to learn Torah. This, in essence, depicts the glory and beauty of a proper Jewish home. Those who follow the Rebbe's traditional teachings on chinuch live lives devoted to Hashem in every aspect, with holiness and purity. This is the hope of Klal Yisroel. Let us gather our strength so that we will not be influenced by the non-Jewish concepts of "family." Let us cry out to Hashem to save us, and let us cling to His holy Torah.
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The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, once said: "It is impossible for a doctor to be an Ehrliche Yid for two reasons. Firstly, he often has to treat non-Jews on Shabbos, and many times, even when he is treating a Jew, Halachic questions arise that he is not competent to answer, and he ends up violating Halacha." The Rebbe continued, "There is, however, one way that a doctor can be an Ehrliche Yid: if he does not want his children to stumble the same way he did by going to college." (The Rebbe Speaks by R' Dovid Meisels, pp. 325 - 326)
2. "We find that the source of the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and the painful decrees passed against the Jewish People was the fact that the Erev Rav were connected with the Jewish People. In every generation they (the Erev Rav) have stood against the Jewish People from different angles and in different outfits, in an attempt to turn Klal Yisroel away from service of and faith in the Creator, may He be Blessed...and in the time before the arrival of Moshiach, the forces of the Erev Rav will strengthen very much to turn the youths of Klal Yisroel away from Yiddishkeit...we are taught by our sages "Al tischaber l'rasha." More vigilance is required when dealing with someome who appears to be a tzaddik on the outside than when dealing with one who is openly a rasha. Regarding one who is openly a rasha, we can see how evil his deeds are and avoid emulating them, but one who appears to be a tzaddik he has the power to influence other people to evil." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Chayei Sara, p. 473)
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We must be exceedingly vigilant regarding the threat of the modern-day Erev Rav: the Zionists. We can avoid countless troubles and pains by avoiding all contact with the Zionists. Special care must be taken to avoid any contact at all with Zionism dressed up in religious trappings such as the "Nachal Charedi units," religious political parties, and "Yeshivah Colleges." All of these institutions are nothing but traps set for the Torah-true Jews, meant to pull us away from Hashem and His holy Torah. No matter how religious these institutions may look, it is clearly forbidden by the Torah to have anything to do with them. These are institutions that attempt to mix our holy Torah with their heresy and idol worship. Can there be any greater abomination before Hashem? Let us summon our strength and cling to the genuine path of Hashem and His holy Torah.
3. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Divrei Yoel, Parashas Chayei Sara, p. 542) asks why, when Avraham Avinu heard that Sodom would be destroyed, he took no action except prayer. Given the fact that Avraham Avinu's life work was actively drawing the masses close to Hashem, one would have expected that Avraham would have attempted to bring the people of Sodom to teshuvah. The Rebbe answers very simply that Avraham would not have done this since to do so would have been a violation of what Chazal teach us: "Al tischaber l'rasha, do not join with a rasha."
This raises an obvious question. Wasn't Avraham Avinu's life-work kiruv? How could he practice kiruv if he did not associate with the wicked? Upon a closer look into the Torah, however, the answer is clear. We never find anywhere that Avraham Avinu associated with the wicked. In fact, we find the opposite. Avraham proposed to separate from his nephew Lot, so as not to be influenced by his nephew's unsavory ways. What would seem to emerge from the above is that Avraham Avinu did not attempt to associate with the true reshaim and bring them close. This would have been very dangerous to Avraham's own spiritual well-being, in addition to being a violation of the command of our sages: "Al tischaber l'rasha." Avraham Avinu only helped a certain group of people: those who were confused. Many people of that time were undecided as to which path to follow in their lives -- idolatry or service of the one true G-d. These people were not truly resha'im. They simply lacked a proper religious education.
This fact, in turn can help answer another question. Hashem promised Avraham that his descendants would inherit Eretz Yisroel. We are then told of how Avraham separated from Lot. Subsequently, the Torah relates a second promise by Hashem to Avraham that his descendants would inherit the Land. Why was a second promise necessary? Perhaps we can explain as follows: Every person has two neshamos -- a lower neshama, which resides in the guf, and a higher neshama, which resides in Shomayim. This higher neshama is more abstract than the lower neshama, but for tzaddikim, this higher neshama becomes more and more tangible. The seforim explain that when we find in the Torah that a tzaddik is called twice by Hashem, Hashem is addressing both neshamos.
Perhaps during the first promise to Avraham that he would inherit the Land, Hashem was speaking to his upper neshama. This inheritance was on such a high level of holiness that it could not be affected by any klipos or influences from Lot. This accords with what Chazal teach, that although the physical land of Eretz Yisroel has lost its sanctity, the air of Eretz Yisroel has not, and no matter how impure the actions of the residents of Eretz Yisroel may be, the air of the Land is not desecrated. The air of the Lend reflects the concept of the upper neshama and the first promise to Avraham Avinu. The second level of inheritance could not, however, be promised at this time, because Avraham was still associated with Lot. This klipah blocked the possibility of Avraham inheriting the Land through his lower neshama. This inheritance had to be in complete holiness, as this was the main aspect of inheritance for Avraham's descendants. When this holiness was eventually violated, the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed and the Jewish People were be exiled.
Let us take this lesson to heart. While Lot was by no means a tzaddik or sterling example of anything positive, we do find that he retained some of the good character traits and teachings that he learned in Avraham's house. Yet Avraham only merited ascending to complete righteousness after he separated from Lot. What can we say? The Zionists always strive to uproot every last trace of Jewishness from themselves. How can anyone with any sense of Torah values join with them in any sense? They are murderers and heretics -- the Amaleik of the generation. Let us follow the example set for us by our holy forefather, Avraham Avinu, and flee from any connection to the apikorsim.
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The Satmar Rebbe would quote in the name of tzaddikim that if a town would have no wicked people, it would be worth it to bring in some resha'im to live there, just so that we ehrliche Yidden could separate from them.
4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Zemiros Divrei Yoel, pp. 374 - 375), quoting the Yalkut, explains one of the primary goals of galus. As the Jewish People wander throughout the world, we gather the sparks of holiness that have been dispersed throughout the world and return them to their source through learning Torah, performing mitzvos, and establishing shuls, batei medrash, and ehrliche Yiddishe homes in all corners of the world. The Rebbe explains that this rectification is especially connected to the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah. The sukkah is an oasis that helps us to come out of galus by bringing about great tikkunim, the tikkunim needed to bring Moshiach. Similarly, the Rebbe explains that Rivkah was from these sparks of holiness, since she was a source of righteousness, while the rest of her family was a source of evil and impurity.