Divrei Yoel Parashas Va'eschanan

1. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vaeschanan, p. 41) explains that Moshe Rabbeinu wanted to bring Moshiach in his days. This indeed, could have occurred, but there was one problem. The Jewish People were not completely cleansed of their sin with the idol Peor. Since a full tikkun for this aveirah had not yet occurred, the geulah could not come.

We should learn from the above section of Divrei Yoel the following principle: avodah zarah acts as a block against the coming of the geulah. Throughout the generations, the Jewish People have been faced with the test of several false Moshiachs. The end of all of these deceitful "prophets" was that they sank into avodah zarah, clearly disproving their legitimacy. Idolatry stands in opposition to the true geulah, and the more we are misled down a path of idol worship, the further Moshiach is pushed away. It is our responsibility to work as hard as we can not to push away Moshiach. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel al HaMoadim (Rosh Hashanah) explains that every year on Rosh Hashanah, Moshiach comes, together with the sarim of all the other nations of the world, and stands before Hashem to hear what the verdict for the coming year will be. Will Moshiach be able to arrive this year, or will he be delayed yet another year? The answer is dependent on us. Will we do proper teshuvah, or will we not return to Hashem sincerely? The Rebbe explains that Moshiach could come if even a small shtibel did proper teshuvah. Every year that Moshiach hears the verdict that he will not be able to come during that year, he experiences terrible humiliation and must leave the heavenly court dejected and mortified, mocked by the sarim of all the other nations.

If we want to bring Moshiach, we must do genuine teshuvah. This is simply the only way. Sadly, many people today think they have other ways in which we can bring Moshiach. Establishing a so-called "Jewish State," acting with uncalled-for aggression against the Arabs, joining the IDF, putting tefillin on IDF soliders, are a few the actions that some terribly misguided people believe are ways of bringing Moshiach. The truth is that all the above-listed activites are either literally avodah zarah or at least avizrayhu d'avodah zarah (dust of avodah zarah), and actually serve to delay Moshiach's arrival.

Many people believe that the existence of a "State of Israel" has helped, and is helping, many secular Jews to do teshuvah or at least become more aware of Hashem and Yiddishkeit. This is simply not true. As the Rebbe explains in Al Hageulah V'al Hatemurah and throughout Divrei Yoel, such good and holy results as genuine teshuvah cannot come from a satanical force that stands in complete opposition to Hashem and His Holy Torah. The "baalei teshuvah" that emerged from the hands of the Zionists and their cohorts are simply not true baalei teshuvah. The very sad reality is that what has happened is that many secular Jews have gone from no belief to belief in false idols. Instead of passively denying Hashem's existence, R"l, they now actively deny His existence.

Furthermore, wrote the Rebbe, we must not be impressed with Zionism even if it produces real baalei teshuva. It is a historical fact that the false messiah Shabbsai Tzvi’s movement produced thousands of baalei teshuva, yet the great rabbis of his time were not impressed and did not hesitate to denounce him. They knew that the source of this “teshuva” was nothing but falsehood and defilement. (Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah, siman 58)

The Rebbe explains in Divrei Yoel that the fact that the Megillah tells us that many people were draw to Yiddishkeit after the miracles perfomed for the Jewish People in the time of Mordechai and Ester teaches us that these miracles came from Hashem, for people are not brought close to Torah and mitzvos as a result of miracles from the Sitra Achara. This concept is very relevant regarding our perspective on the IDF and the wars it fought.

After the Six day War, many, many people in the Jewish World mistakenly believed that Hashem had performed miracles for the IDF. This notion brought on what was believed by many to be a massive "teshuvah movement." At the time, the Rebbe explained clearly and emphatically that genuine teshivah is not brought about by the forces of the Satan. This so-called "teshuvah movment" was nothing but a farce that resulted in many, many Yidden being led astray toward the Zionist ideology.

Unfortunately, to this day, Jewish history books print and reprint supposedly "touching" and "emotional" photos of IDF soliders davening next to tanks while wearing tallis and tefillin as proof of the "teshuvah movement" that occured following the Six Day War. What these pictures are actually showing is Jews who have been sucked into heresy supposedly davening to Hashem while standing next to an idol and wearing the new Nazi uniform. Can such a "tefillah" possibly be acceptable to Hashem? How far have we fallen? How can any thinking Jew look at such a picture and feel anything but overwhelming grief at the terrible destruction that has occurred to our nation at the hands of the Sitra Achara?

We must realize what the "State of Israel" and its defiled army really is. If we would fully understand that the Zionist State and the IDF are controlled and owned by the Satan, and that the Israeli government and all its branches inherently stand against the Torah in the worst possible way, we would not feel the least amount of affinity for this evil regime. We must work hard to swim against the tide and uproot from ourselves all traces of positive feeling toward the "State of Israel" or its army. Only when we can accomplish this will we be on the road toward total purity from avodah zarah.
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The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, borrowing a phrase from Chazal, writes in Al Hageulah V'al Hatemurah (in reference to the fad of putting tefillin on secular Jews and especially IDF soliders): "The wicked are accustomed to tricking people with tefillin." (Al Hageulah V’al Hatemurah Siman 57, based on Yerushalmi Berachos 2:3 and Tosafos on Shabbos 49a)
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Shortly after the Six Day War, a delegation of Rabbanim from Agudas Yisroel of America visited the Rebbe. They explained that they were on their way to Eretz Yisroel in order to take part in the so-called "teshuvah movement.” They asked the Rebbe what message we had to Klal Yisroel in light of the current events. The Rebbe replied, "To Klal Yisroel I have a lot to say, but to you I have nothing to say". (The Rebbe by R' Dovid Meisels p. 503)
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Immediately following the Six Day War, the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, instructed the boys in his Yeshiva who had family in Eretz Yisroel to write home and tell their relatives that "anyone who rejoices in the Zionists' victory is insulting Hashem, kavyachol." (The Rebbe by R' Dovid Meisels p. 505)
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At the height of the Six Day War, the Rebbe said: "Anyone who rejoices with the victory of the Zionists will not merit to see the true comforting of Tzion with the coming of Moshiach." (The Rebbe by R' Dovid Meisels p. 501)

2. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vaeschanan, p. 50) explains a very interesting point regarding the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu was not permitted to enter Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe explains that every year, at the time when Bnei Yisroel sinned with the Midyanite girls and with the idol Peor, a heavenly prosecution is aroused against the Jewish nation. This would create a real problem for Klal Yisroel, since this would mean that every year, a remembrance of two of the most severe sins possible – idolatry and avodah zarah -- would be brought to memory again. Hashem, however, in His great mercy, does not wish that the Jewish People should have to experience such a kitrug every year, and He wanted the Jewish People to have a great zechus to stand by them and protect them. This zechus would be accomplished through Moshe Rabbeinu's burial place being close to where the incident of the Peor occured. Therefore, although Moshe Rabbeinu wanted very badly to enter Eretz Yisroel, or at least to be buried there, he was denied both of these requests in order that he would be buried next to the location where the incident of Peor took place, so that the heavenly prosecution should be diminished. Moshe Rabbeinu, however, in his great humility, did not think of himself as great enough to be the source of such a great zechus; hence, he prayed that he be allowed to enter Eretz Yisroel.

There seem to be two glaring questions on this piece of Divrei Yoel. Firstly, the fact of the matter is that there is no forgetting before Hashem. Therefore, what is the meaning of the statement that every year at the time Bnei Yisroel sinned, the "memory" of the sin is regenerated? Secondly, why would the zechus of Moshe be powerful enough to mitigate the prosecution only if he were to be buried next to the place of the sin? If Moshe Rabbeinu was so great that his merit can stave off a heavenly kitrug, we should be protected by his merit wherever he is buried.

Perhaps we can answer these questions in the following manner. Seforim teach that the Heavenly Court operates in a fashion similar to the procedure of the earthly Beis Din. Just as in the earthly courts, a person cannot be punished on the basis of the testimony of only two witnesses, so too in Heaven, a person can only be punished when two witnesses testify to his sin. The Satan, is, of course, always one of the prosecutors. However, he needs a second witness. When someone, chalilah, speaks lashon hara about another Jew, he can sometimes cause the subject of his loshon hara to be prosecuted, since the Satan now has a second witness. When the baal lashon hara arives in Shomayim, he will then be punished, chas v'shalom, as a murderer, if his prosecution caused the victim's demise. The converse is also true. If a person does what he can to find the good in his fellow, he can, in fact, be saving him from the grasp of the Satan, thereby saving his life. When this person arrives in Shomayim after one hundred twenty years, he will be richly rewarded for saving the life of another Jew, and Chazal tell us that one who saves a single life is considered as though he has saved an entire world. We see from the above that sometimes prosecution can only take effect once we, as human beings, contribute our own negative input.

The greatest and most fearful punishments that can befall the Jewish People, chas v'shalom, are enumerated in the Tochacha. In this section, the Torah teaches that all these punishments will befall Klal Yisroel because "You did not serve Hashem with joy...." The Zohar explains that sins of immorality cause a person not to be able to attain simcha, blocking his way to serving Hashem with simcha and to teshuvah, which must be done with simcha. Therefore, we see that aveiros of promiscuity invite the curses of the Tochacha, R"L.

We can, perhaps, now explain the Divrei Yoel. Every year, when the time of year in which the Jewish People sinned with the Midyanites and the avodah zarah of Peor arrives, a heavenly prosecution is aroused. Additionally, a greater pull toward the sins of immorality and avodah zarah is generated. However, the Satan really has no power to cause any kind of punishment to the Jewish People because he lacks a second witness. Perhaps the Satan's accusations are, therefore, dealt with in the following way. If the Jewish People are following the ways of the Torah, all will be well. If, however, the Jewish People are being pulled along in the spirit of impurity that prevails as an effect of those sins committed so many years ago, this in and of itself is the second witness against the Jewish People. The sinners themselves create a prosecution onto which the Satan is able to latch and use as effective testimony against Klal Yisroel, chas v'shalom. The aveiros done are aveiros of immorality, which, as mentioned above, bring on sadness and depression. This depression can lead a person astray toward the avodah zarah, which in turn, brings a person to deeper levels of depravity and depression, in a never-ending cycle of aveiros. This is the terrible spiral referenced in the Torah when it states, "For you did not serve Hashem with joy." Therefore, the Satan wants the curses of the Tochacha to take effect upon Klal Yisroel, with himself as witness number one and the spirit of impurity created by the sins themselves as witness number two. This is where the zechus of Moshe Rabbeinu comes in.

In Vayoel Moshe, Siman 14, the Rebbe brings a very interesting yesod from the Ramban. The Ramban explains that the horrifying klalos of the Tochacha can only take effect if all or the majority of the Jewish People are in Eretz Yisroel. If, however, the majority of Klal Yisroel is in Chutz La'aretz, the curses will not take effect, even if the Jewish People, are, chas v'shalom in such a sinful state that these curses are well deserved. This is because Hashem promised the Jewish People that he would be with them in galus and not hide His Face to such an extent.

The Seforim of Chassidus and Kabbalah teach that Moshe Rabbeinu encompasses all 600,000 neshamos of Klal Yisroel. Since all the Jewish People come from these 600,000 souls, Moshe Rabbeinu encompasses within himself all of Klal Ysiroel throughout all the generations. Therefore, it could possibly be said that the fact that Moshe Rabbeinu is buried outside Eretz Yisroel is an assurance that during the entire period of galus, even if the majority of the Jewish People would reside in Eretz Yisroel, and a scenario would arise whereby the Jewish People would be pulled toward immorality and avodah zarah, the curses of the Tochacha would be blunted, since it would be considered, to some extent, as though the entire Jewish Nation was residing in Chutz La'aretz, where Moshe Rabbeinu is buried. Perhaps this explanation can give us a deeper look into what the Divrei Yoel means here when he says that Moshe Rabbeinu had to be buried outside Eretz Yisroel in order to protect us from the kitrug that is aroused by the sins that occurred during his times.

In light of the above-cited teaching of the Ramban, we see that we are, in fact, fortunate that the Zionists have not succeeded in pulling the majority of the Jewish Nation to Eretz Yisroel. The fact that the majority of the Jewish Nation is living outside Eretz Yisroel is actually creating a protection for Yidden worldwide. This stands in stark contrast to the foolish heretics who believe that any Jew living outside of Eretz Yisroel is simply stuck in a "galus mentality." These people are terribly mistaken. The truth is that they are the ones who have been affected the most by galus. Sadly, these individuals have become deranged and overtaken by the sitra achara. We, the ehrliche Yidden, are saving them from destruction by living outside Eretz Yisroel. However, the evil fools do not understand this and continue to spit in the faces of those who are providing them with a great service.

This gross ingratitude is not at all uncommon with the Zionists. How long have they slandered and insulted the talmidei chachamim of this generation and all previous generations? The Torah scholars and tzaddikim are protecting us from danger, while the IDF is simply endangering the Yidden. They are the enemy. This army is a degenerate, disgusting, horde of murderers, adulterers, and idol worshippers. Additionally, due to the many great sins committed by the IDF, the heavenly scales of merit vs. guilt are, unfortunately, tipped farther toward the side of guilt, bringing not only the Jewish Nation into danger, but also pushing the entire world toward the side of guilt. Indeed, one of the greatest threats to the world today is the IDF and the Israeli government. Despite this, righteous talmidei chachamim are continually disparaged as not doing anything "productive" for refusing to join the IDF. The Torah teaches us the truth. The Israeli soldiers are wasting their lives in sin every day. The people sitting and learning are literally sustaining the world every moment they learn, even if their learning is not on the lofty level of the Gedolei Yisroel.
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The Chofetz Chaim was once making an appeal for donations to his yeshiva. The Chofetz Chaim requested that each person give what he could in order that the students should have proper beds. One rich man in the crowd, thinking he was being funny, pointed to a well known, poverty-stricken Torah scholar who was sitting and learning in the back of the shul, and said, "I will pledge as much as that man can." The Chofetz Chaim rose to his feet and, with fire in his eyes, said, "There is no way you can possibly pledge as much as that man. That man is responsible for every single bed in the yeshiva, for if not for his learning, there would no beds, no yeshiva, and not even a world, since the world is preserved only because of limud haTorah.”
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How can we, the Torah-true Jews, fight against the horrifying evil perpetrated by the Israeli government every day and every moment? We must increase our own Torah study and mitzvos. We must throw our heart, body, mind, and soul into learning Torah. We must also strengthen ourselves through learning mussar and doing acts of kindness. We must stand up and declare to the entire world that we declare war on the "State of Israel." At every moment, we long and hope for the dismantling of the heretical Zionists' State. This hope is, in and of itself, a great and lofty form of avodas Hashem as explained by the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Kuntres Al HaGeulah V'al HaTemurah. May this day arrive speedily with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, b'meheirah v'yameinu, Amein!

3. In Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vaeschanan, p. 51), the Satmar Rebbe explains an interesting point regarding the incident wherein Moshe Rabbeinu killed the Egyptian taskmaster who was beating one of the Jewish slaves in Mitzrayim. The Rebbe explains that through this act, Moshe humbled the forces of impurity and made them subservient to him.

We too must work to destroy and humble the forces of tumah as much as possible. Although we are not Moshe Rabbeinu, we can, nonetheless, strive toward purity and faith in Hashem. How can we break the forces of evil and impurity? By increasing, both in quantity as well as quality, our service of Hashem. We must strive to serve Hashem without looking to draw in every single person on the street with token mitzvos. We must observe the Torah without the slightest compromise, and this will, in turn, affect all those around us to become greater in service of Hashem as well. Through this great spiritual power, we will merit to break the forces of evil.