DIVREI YOEL PARASHAS NOACH
1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Noach, pp. 115 - 116), explains that one aspect of Noach's righteousness was his humility and lowliness of spirit. Noach was an exceedingly humble man. Humility is a very great level of avodas Hashem for anyone, but for someone living in the generation of Noach, surrounded by wicked people, it is an even greater feat.
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Contrary to popular belief, humility does not mean always remaining quite and never taking a stand. There is a famous story that illustrates this point clearly. The great gadol R' Akiva Eiger once spent Shabbos in a certain town. During K'rias HaTorah on Shabbos morning, the gabbai called up R' Akiva Eiger for the third aliyah, rather than the rav of the town, who normally received this honor. Upon realizing that he had been called in place of the rav, R' Akiva Eiger fainted on the spot. Later that same Shabbos, a controversial halachic question arose, and R' Akiva Eiger ascended the bimah and deliverd a fiery ruling. He thereupon demanded that his word be heeded, pounding his fist on the bimah for emphasis.
The meaning of humility, according to the Torah's definition, is a complete self-nullification for the sake of Hashem and His Holy Torah. A true tzaddik realizes how far he is from Hashem, despite his great levels of Torah knowledge and kedushah. The broken and humble feeling this realization engenders does not, however, bar in any way his taking an uncompromising stance against evil. In fact, sometimes humility before Hashem and submission to his will require us to stand up and protest for the honor of Hashem. On our own, we might be to afraid to stand for what is right, but since we are humble before Hashem, we realize that we must nullify our personal hesitations and fight the wicked with all our strength.
Another point that emerges from the above section of Divrei Yoel is the fact that association with the wicked makes it many, many times more difficult to serve Hashem properly. Many people have been misled into believing that Jews living in Chutz La'aretz have been far more influenced by the non-Jewish culture than the Jews living in Eretz Yisroel have been. The sad truth is, in all probability, the reverse. Thanks to the Zionists, and especially the Charedim who have joined with the Zionists and the evil heretics, a culture of free interaction amongst all segments of Judaism has been created. Charedim feel the need to pacify and flatter secular Jews, while never truly bringing them closer to observant life. One famous "religious" Zionist rabbi even went as far as to say that secular children playing soccer are exalting Hashem as much as did David Hamelech when he sang songs of praise to Hashem. Every believing Jew sees clearly the senselessness of these words. Religious participation in the Zionist government is lauded and encouraged by almost all religious newspapers and media outlets, while all who shun involvement with the wicked are branded as "fanatics" of "deranged." What these misguided souls fail to realize is that involvement with apikorsim is completely forbidden by the Torah. Close connection with the heretics leads to a false "humility," a willingness to concede to all that the wicked desire. This is not true anivus. This is weakness in commitment to the Torah.
Another common misconception is that these days it is fine for religious boys to join the IDF since there are the so-called "Nachal Charedi" units. It is important, however, to look at the reality: It is forbidden join an army whose very existence is heretical.
We must strengthen ourselves against all who wish to join with reshaim. We must listen to the words of Chazal, who tell us "Al tis'chaber la'rasha".
2. "...The greatness of the soul is dependent only upon the time and the particular generation. Every good act, however small, in this generation is as great as many mitzvos of the previous generations, for in these generations, the klipah strengthens itself more and more without letup, which was not the case in the previous generations...." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Noach, p. 117)
3. Rashi explains that the term "anashim" refers to people who are tzaddikim and are respectable honored individuals. Given this, the Satmar Rebbe (Kuntres Chidushei Torah Bereishis, Parashas Noach, pp. 37 - 38) questions why this term is applied to those who rebelled against Moshe in regard to the manna. The Rebbe explains that there are some people who appear to be great people and leaders of Klal Yisroel. The masses of Klal Yisroel are drawn after them, believing them to be the true Tzaddikim. Indeed, these people may be great talmidei chachamim, but the source of their neshamos is from evil. This was the case with those who rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu.
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It is absolutely essential that we distinguish between the true leaders of Klal Yisroel, and those who like to present themselves as the leaders of the Jewish People, but are, in truth, the greatest enemies of Klal Yisroel. The Jewish People only became Jewish at Mattan Torah because we were given the Torah. Therefore, logically, the only leaders of our nation can be those who are experts regarding the essence of our Jewishness, which is, of course, the Torah. Politics has nothing to do with Jewishness. To think that one can have some kind of "Jewish identity" because of political affiliation is preposterous. The Prime Minister of "Israel" is not a Jewish leader in any sense. He is a leader of a foreign country who is a selfish anti-Semite. He is the modern-day Haman.
Additionally the "Chief Rabbi"of the Zionist State cannot be assumed to be a Jewish leader. More often than not, the Chief Rabbi has been a self-centered politician and ignoramous. The true tzaddikim do not bend to political pressure. They actually fear Hashem, and only Hashem. Let us gather our strength and run to the genuine leaders of Klal Yisroel. Let us run from the imposters.
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A certain prominent rabbi once visited the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A. As the rabbi was about to leave the rebbe's house, he made reference to his driver, the "manhig." The Rebbe replied, "He is a good manhig, for he doesn't corrupt anyone." ("Manhig" means leader in loshon hakodesh, but it is also used to mean "driver" in the Zionist language.) (The Rebbe Speaks by R' Dovid Meisels)
4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel explains that just as we are commanded to live in the Sukkah in the same manner that we live in our homes, we understand that the reverse is also true. We must live in our homes with the same kedushah with which we live in the Sukkah. In Kabbalistic literature, the Sukkah is called "Tzilah Dimheim'nusa," the shelter of faith. A person must realize that when living at home he is also living under Hashem's protection.
The homes of Klal Yisroel are our most precious treasure. Our homes, when built with proper awareness of Hashem are the centers of emunah, taharah, and Yiddishkeit. Just as when we are dwelling in the Sukkah, we can feel the love and protection of Hashem, this same lofty feeling of kedushah can be felt in our homes, if we bring the Sukkah into our home by living a proper Torah life and raising our children to Torah and yiras Shomayim.
The seforim hakedoshim teach that the air inside of the Sukkah is the air of Eretz Yisroel. We learn from this that Eretz Yisroel, in its proper form, represents yiras Shomayim and emunah. Living in Eretz Yisroel brings one to greater levels of closeness to Hashem, just like living in the Sukkah. However, this is only so if we actually live in Eretz Yisroel with this goal and aspiration. We must not go to Eretz Yisroel for political reasons, or trust in the heretical government to protect us and help us. The fact of the matter is that we must do all that we can to distance ourselves from this government in order to acquire the spiritual benefits of living in Eretz Yisroel, since the Zionist government is, by its very nature, a blasphemy against Hashem and the Torah. This is the only way we can hope to gain a deeper connection to Hashem through Eretz Yisroel.
We can also gain a deeper connection to Hashem through building proper Jewish homes. Ehrliche Yiddishe homes are filled with a great kedushah, like a shul or beis midresh. The Beirach Moshe writes that an ehrliche Yiddishe home is, in fact, higher on the ladder of ruchniyus than a shul or beis midrash. This explains why the evil Zionist government works with great strength and toil to destroy our homes. The Zionists understand that if they can uproot the Torah, kedushah, and tznius that are the basis of every ehrliche Yiddishe home, the will have, chas v'shalom, destroyed Klal Yisroel as a whole. It is, therefore, time for us to take the lesson of the Sukkah to heart and bring the Tzilah Dimheim'nusa into our homes. Let us take the messgage of Sukkos with us as we leave these very special days and return to ordinary living.
5. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Divrei Yoel, Parashas Noach, p. 198) explains in what merit Noach was saved from the mabul that destroyed the rest of his generation. The Torah says that Noach separated the kosher animals from the non-kosher animals when bringing them into the teivah. Rashi explains that from here we learn that Noach learned Torah. Noach knew which animals would one day become permitted as food for his Jewish descendants, and which would be forbidden.
We learn an exceedingly important lesson from the above comment of the Divrei Yoel. The whole world was destroyed, but Noach survived, in the merit of his Torah. He did not survive because of a strong army. He did not survive in the merit of a "Jewish State." He survived in the merit of his Torah learning, and only in the merit of his Torah learning. This fact has application today. Torah learning protects a person from all pain and trouble. This is a fundamental tenet of Jewish belief. When we abandon the Torah, pain comes upon us, R"L. Today, in Eretz Yisroel, there is great danger, thanks to the early Zionists, and their disciples of today. The only way the Jewish People in Eretz Yisroel can be safe is through Torah study, and especially the Torah study of the Gedolei Hador.
The Israeli government does not protect the Jewish People. The Israeli army does not protect the Jewish People. On the contrary, these institutions of heresy endanger the Jewish People. A terrible malady that has, unfortunately spread to many, many people in Klal Yisroel, even many extremely devout Charedim, is the thought that we owe some kind of debt of gratitude to the IDF soliders. How many times have we all heard that "Israeli soliders stand on the front lines, putting their lives in danger for us"? This is ridiculous! The very existence of a “Jewish army” violates several severe prohibitions of the Torah, putting Klal Yisroel in great danger. We owe absolutely nothing to Israeli soliders except for distain. The Gemara in Meseches Megillah teaches, “All mockery is forbidden except for mockery of idol worship." Indeed, such ridicule is actually praisworthy. The IDF is clearly a true form of idol worship, and therefore, we should mock the Israeli army to ourselves and to our children. We should teach our children from their earliest days to regard the IDF as Amaleik and the worst enemy of Klal Yisroel. It is absolutely essential to teach our children that IDF soliders are not heros; they are the destroyers of Klal Yisroel. The thought should never even enter the pure minds of our children to want to have any association at all with the Israeli army. The Zionist army should be shunned and mocked publicly. We must tell the whole world that we have no connection to this immoral, forbidden, and heretical army.
The army generals and leaders are the worst. They are the true Amaleik. Their express goal in drafting Yeshiva bochurim is to secularize and assimilate them into the G-dless Israeli culture. We should literally view the IDF as the Nazi army, for they are, in fact, causing even greater damage to the Jewish nation than the Nazis, YMS"H, did. We should shun all contact with Israeli soliders.
We must continue to protest the Zionist draft law, which seeks to draft Yeshiva boys into the defiled Zionist army and convert them to atheism and Zionism. This is literally a g'zairas sh'mad! How can we sit back calmly, as if nothing is wrong, as children are dragged away from their parents and beaten mercilessly simply because they do not desire to become secular low-lives in the Zionist army?!
Perhaps more than any other country in the world, the evil Zionist country of Israel has retained strong nationalistic feelings that permeate every aspect of many Israelis' lives. This is an incredibly dangerous sentiment, and anyone considering visiting our Holy Land should seriously consider whether he will be able to withstand the terrible tests of faith that most definitely await him in Eretz Yisroel. This is truly a problem for Klal Yisroel. Many organizations promote and organize trips, or even permanent moves, to Eretz Yisroel. Most of these organizations use tremendous amounts of Zionist funding to accomplish their goals, often subsidizing airplane fairs and rent for apartments. These organizations bring hundreds of young people to Israel, indoctrinate them with Zionist pride, teach them the repulsive Zionist language, and in the end, many of these young people wind up joining the army or other Zionist institutions. Some of these organizations even seek to resettle thousands of Jews in Eretz Yisroel, a clear violation of the oath sworn by the Jewish People to Hashem not to ascend to Eretz Yisroel “as a wall.” These unfortunate people, once resettled, become completely dependent on Zionist money and favors. This is destroying Klal Yisroel and delaying Moshiach. Let us distance ourselves from such evil organizations and cling to Hashem and His Holy Torah.
6. 1). The Satmar Rebbe, ZY”A, (Divrei Yoel Parashas Noach, pp. 203 - 204) explains that although Eretz Yisroel was not affected by the mabul, Hashem never commanded Noach to save himsef by going there. Why was this so? The Rebbe explains that in Eretz Yisroel, the middas hadin had reign. The snallest misstep is counted as a grave sin. Therefore Hashem told Noach to build a teivah instead, and not to put himself to the test by fleeing to Eretz Yisroel. Additionally, the Rebbe explains, the sinners and the heretics of the generation were under the mistaken impression that Eretz Yisroel could tolerate sins. A move to Eretz Yisroel would have only strengthened this mistaken notion in the minds of the heretics.
2). The Rebbe explains above in Divrei Yoel (p. 198) that since Noach learned Torah, he was able to keep from falling into the abyss of impurity into which the rest of his generation fell. The generation of the mabul fell to the 50th gate of tumah, the lowest possible spiritual level. Chazal famously teach that the Bnei Yisroel were redeemed from Mitzrayim early, because the Jewish People had sunk to the 49th gate of impurity. The Arizal explains that if Bnei Yisroel had stayed in Mitzrayim for one more instant, they would have sunk so far that they would not have been able to be redeemed.
3). The Gemara, in Meseches Bava Basra, records a lengthy disscusion over when Iyov lived. The Maharal (to 15b) explains that the underlying meaning of this discusion is that at each of the eras suggested by the Gemara, the middas hadin was given power over the world. Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to imagine the middas hadin having so much power over the world as to have inflicted as much pain upon Iyov as he experienced. However, explains the Maharal, during times when the middas hadin is given free reign, such destruction can indeed occur.
4). One opinion in the above gemara states that Iyov lived as long as the time period of Galus Mitzrayim.
5). The Satmar Rebbe, in Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah and Divrei Yoel (Parashas Shelah), explains that when the middas hadin is given reign, the Satan is given permission to perform miracles.
The entire purpose of Yetziyas Mitzrayim was for the Jewish People to accept the Torah and enter Eretz Yisroel. The Chidushei HaRim explains that the Torah could have been given to the Dor Hamabul, but this generation gave in to their desires, and thereby became unfit to receive the Torah. The heavens could have opened up with a flood of Torah knowledge, but due to the aveiros of the generation, it was a flood of water that destroyed them. The generation that left Mitzrayim rectified these shortcomings. The Jews in Mitzrayim retained their distinctive language, clothing, and names. This was the merit in which Bnei Yisroel were eventually redeemed. Iyov represents the concept of the middas hadin having reign over the world. With this understanding, perhaps we can acquire a deeper understanding of the Gemara’s teaching that Iyov lived for the length of time of Galus Mitzrayim, although not necesarily during this exile. Perhpas we can understand that just as in the time of the mabul, when the middas hadin had reign over Eretz Yisroel, so too during Galus Mitzrayim, the middas hadin had reign over Eretz Yisroel, generating major tests of faith over the entire world. With the redemption from Mitzrayim before the proper time, a great chesed was injected into the world, and the middas hadin lost its foothold. The Rebbe explains that Noach was saved from descending to the 50th gate of tumah in the merit of the Torah that he learned. The same concept can be applied to the Yidden in Mitzrayim. They were saved from descending to the 50th level of tumah through the premature redemption from Mitzrayim. This redemption was in the merit of what? Accepting the Torah, the gift that would enable Klal Yisroel to raise themselves up from the 50th level of tumah in future generations. This is explained by the Chasam Sofer. The Jewish People in Mitzrayim passed the test of middas hadin by not changing their names, language and clothing. These three tests represent the Torah’s concepts of morality and ethical behavior, concepts trampled upon by the generation of the flood. Therefore, they were not able to receive the Torah, and instead the middas hadin took hold.
Chazal teach that the proper observance of the Torah and mitzvos is dependent upon Eretz Yisroel. Eretz Yisroel is also more vulnerable to the Middas Hadin. The Jews who left Mitzrayim passed the test of the middas hadin, any therefore, they were able to inherit the Torah and Eretz Yisroel (at least for their descendants). This would allow Eretz Yisroel to be used in the service of Hashem through the middas hagevurah, a higher level of Avodas Hashem than service through middas hachesed. If however, the Torah had been given to a generation that could not pass the test of middas hadin, Eretz Yisroel would have been under the control of the middas hadin in a destructive way. When the middas hadin has reign, the Satan is given permission to perform satanic miracles for the resha'im and apikorsim.
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Another point that emerges from the first comment of the Divrei Yoel cited here is that one must be very careful when considering a move to Eretz Yisroel. Eretz Yisroel is like the king's palace. An aveirah is a much more severe offense when committed in Eretz Yisroel. If one feels prepared for this challenge, he may go to Eretz Yisroel. If one is not ready to take on this lifestyle, however, Eretz Yisroel is not the place for him. (Heard from R’ Dovid Meisels, shlita)