DIVREI YOEL PARASHAS VAYEITZEI
1. Yaakov Avinu is described by the Torah as "Ish Tam Yosheiv Ohalim." Yaakov Avinu's life was entirely dedicated to Hashem through the study of Torah. Yaakov personifies the middah of emes, truth. Thus, a drastic change was about to occur when Yaakov, on command of his righteous mother Rivkah, picked up and traveled to Charan to stay with the evil Lavan. The Satmar Rebbe, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vayeitzei, p. 5), explains that although Yaakov was going to be leaving the environment of kedushah to which he was accustomed and traveling to a place of immense impurity, there was one way in which Yaakov Avinu would be able to retain his spiritual levels and keep himself from the impurity surrounding him: through his Torah study. Limud haTorah has the power to shield one from impurity and bring blessing upon him even when he is in spiritually adverse situations.
The Rebbe goes on to explain that the power of limud haTorah brings to a person the blessings of Eretz Yisroel. In this vein, the Rebbe quotes the gemara in Meseches Berachos (8a) which teaches that R' Yochanan was informed that there were elderly people in Bavel. R' Yochanan was shocked upon hearing this, and said, "The verse states, 'In order that your days will be prolonged upon the land.' This implies that only upon the land of Eretz Yisroel will there be long life, but not in Chutz Laaretz. How, then, could it be that there were old people in Bavel, outside the Land? However, the Gemara tells us, when they later told R' Yochanan that these elderly people arrive early at the shul and stay late, he no longer was surprised for the atmosphere of the shul is that of Eretz Yisroel, and one who toils in Torah in the shul or beis medrash from early in the morning until late at night merits the blessing of long life granted those dwelling in the Holy Land.
In connection with tis Gemara, the Rebbe cites another gemara, in Meseches Megillah (29), which famously teaches that, "In the future, the Batei Kenssios and Batei Medrashos will be transplanted to Eretz Yisroel." The Kedushas Levi comments on this gemara that the homes of tzaddikim who are constantly involved in Torah and avodah are also comparable to shuls and batei medrashos, and such a home will also be transplanted to Eretz Yisroel at the time of the final Geulah.
* * *
Contrary to the claims of the heretical Zionists, one can live as a Jew in Chutz La'aretz. Not only can one live as a Jew in Chut Laaretz, but one can bring the blessings of Eretz Yisroel to himself even as he resides outside the Holy Land. The apikorsim have always attempted, and still do attempt, to destroy everything that brings bracha to a Jewish home. It is clear from the above-cited gemaras that in order to bring the atmosphere of Eretz Yisroel into our lives, we must engage in what is called, in Kabbalistic terminology, an "isarusa d'l'sata," an awakening from below. We must act for the sake of Hashem, toiling in His Torah in order to generate the blessings of Eretz Yisroel. If we sit back and do nothing, we receive no holiness at all. This stands in contrast to the concept of an "isarusa d'li'eilah," an awakening from above, which involves Hashem giving us a gift without prior effort on our part.
This idea is relevant in regard to Eretz Yisroel as well. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Vayoel Moshe, explains that even according to the authorities who hold that the kedushah of Eretz Yisroel remains present in the Land even after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, this only holds true if the Land is not, chas v'shalom, desecrated by resha'im. If we are going to follow the Torah in holiness while living in the Land, then indeed, the kedushah will be present, but if not, the land will, unfortunately, lose its holiness.
When we work sincerely to bring Eretz Yisroel to our homes, we will see results. Practically speaking, how does one accomplish this? To answer this question, we must clearly understand what the blessings of Eretz Yisroel are. We say in the tefillos of the Shalosh Regalim: "Hasheiv Shechinas'cha l'Tziyon ir'cha v'seder ha'avodah l'Yerushalayim, return the Shechinah to Tzion Your city and the order of service to Yerushalayim." This prayer teaches us that the Shechinah, the Divine Presence of the Holy One Blessed be He, is the great blessing that is found in Eretz Yisroel and, by extension, in every proper Jewish home. In order to bring the Shechinah into our homes, he must follow the guidance of the passuk that tells us, "Sur mei'rah va'asei tov." We must distance ourselves from evil and always actively work to attain good. Our sages tell us, "There is no good other than Torah." We must expend great effort to toil in Torah in order to bring the Shechinah into our homes. This, along with sincere prayer, brings the Shechinah into our lives, as the passuk attests, "In any place where I will cause My Name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you." Chazal teach in Pirkei Avos that even one person who sits alone and learns Torah invites the presence of the Shechinah.
Yitzchok Avinu said, "Hakol, kol Yaakov, v'ha'yadayim, y'dei Eisav, the voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav." Chazal interpret this as stating two possible options: "When the voice is the voice of Yaakov (i.e. when the Jewish People are serving Hashem through Torah and tefillah properly), the hands are not the hands of Eisav (i.e., the hands of Eisav have no power to harm us. If the voice is not the voice of Yaakov, then the hands are the hands of Eisav." The Torah states that before bestowing the blessings, Yitzchok requested that Yaakov draw near so that Yitzchok could kiss him. The meforshim explain that Yitzchok intended to generate the presence of the Shechinah through this kiss. This concept would seem to relate to the beginning of Shir Hashirim, which states, "Yishakeini min'shikos Pihu." The Medrash Rabbah explains this as a reference to service in the Beis Hamikdash. Today, due to our sins, we no longer have the Beis Hamikdash. The tefillos we recite in the Beis Hakenesses are in place of the korbanos, as it is stated, "Un'shalmah farim s'faseinu." Tefillah brings the Shechinah.
An additional lesson we learn from the above pessukim is that the only true protection we have against our enemies is Torah and tefillah. Therefore, how ridiculous it is when the heretics claim that every Jew must move to "Israel" where they will be "safe." We are not kept safe through an army or through Zionism. The very existence of an IDF endangers the Jewish People, as explained by the Rebbe throughout Al Hageulah V'al Hatemurah and Divrei Yoel. To claim that a Jew living in galus is powerless is nothing but heresy. We have the holy Torah! We have our shuls and Batei Medrashos. How dare anyone claim that these are not our most powerful tools of survival in galus!
Therefore, to bring the Shechinah into our dwellings, we must engage sincerely in the activities that draw Hashem's holy Presence to ourselves. Just as important, however, is the fulfillment of the first half of the passuk: "Sur mei'rah." We must distance ourselves from evil. This is accomplished by throwing off of ourselves the two greatest klipos of the generation: heresy and immorality. We must be vigilant to block anything that contains even traces of heresy and immorality from entering our homes. This includes virtually all secular books, television, internet, and secular forms of entertainment. All of these items destroy a Jewish heart and soul, as stated repeatedly by the Rebbe in Kuntres Chidushei Torah and in Vayoel Moshe, Ma'amar Loshon Hakodesh. Chazal teach that immorality drives away the Shechinah. Therefore, if we desire proper Jewish homes, the first step is to eliminate all of the sins that drive away the Shechinah.
The Rebbe writes in his introduction to Vayoel Moshe that the Zionist State is the source of every type of tumah in the entire world. Therefore, by distancing ourselves as much as possible from the Zionist State, we distance ourselves from tumah and bring ourselves closer to taharah. It is worthwhile to take a closer look at the Rebbe's statement here in order to better understand the evil that is represented by the Zionist State. There is no other government in existence today that represents the evil and impurity that is embodied by the "State of Israel." The founders of the state built it with the explicit intent to dismantle the Torah and wipe away every last trace of Yiddishkeit from the Jewish Nation. This thought was expressed clearly by the first prime minister of "Israel," David ben Gurion. This evil man stated, "The national tragedy of the Jewish People is religion." This government is built upon an ideal to violate the oaths sworn by Klal Yisroel to Hashem: not to rebel against the nations and not to ascend to Eretz Yisroel en masse (even peacefully) or by force (even in small numbers). The Rebbe explains at length in Vayoel Moshe that violation of these oaths is tantamount to actual idol worship.
When one seeks the guidance of the true tzaddikim of the generation, following uncompromising Torah values in tznius, emunah, and chinuch, the Shechinah is found in his home. This has, baruch Hashem, been accomplished by thousands of people living in Chutz Laaretz. It would seem safe to assume that these exceedingly fortunate people living in Chutz Laaretz live in Eretz Yisroel to a greater extent than those who physically live within the borders of Eretz Yisroel yet fail to grasp the true concept of Eretz Yisroel and simply criticize holy Yidden who live in Chutz Laaretz for not living in Eretz Yisroel.
* * *
Last week's parasha began by stating, "These are the descendants of Yitzchok the son of Avraham, Avraham begot Yitzchok." Rashi comments here that the mockers of the generation were saying that Avimelech impregnated Sarah, and Yitzchok was born from this union. Hashem, therefore, made Yitzchok's face an exact image of his true father, Avraham.
This teaching contains a timeless lesson that is very relevant to today's times. The Zohar teaches that a tzaddik's mitzvos are considered his children. When a tzaddik leaves behind institutions of Torah with many talmidim, he leaves behind children. We can, therefore, understand the extent of the maliciousness of the "mockers of the generation" referred to here by Rashi. These mockers attempted to mock and tear down all of Avraham Avinu's "children," meaning his spiritual accomplishments. Sadly, such mockery is a widespread malady today. In an attempt to tear down the Rebbe and his holy teachings, people mock his "children," the holy institutions of chinuch, Torah, and tefillah that live on to this day. These leitzanei hador claim that the Rebbe's followers live suppressed lives, unable to enjoy mentally stimulating activities or entertainment. They whine about the "unfulfilling lives" led by the Rebbe followers, especially the holy mothers who have dedicated their lives to building a mikdash me'at in their homes by raising many children to the way of the Torah. What these mockers simply fail to realize is that no one who actually has a real life is interested in hearing their simple-minded whining. These fools are, in reality, the ones who lead unfulfilled lives, as evidenced by their incessant, mindless complaining.
The Jews who are faithful to Hashem and His holy Torah understand that the greatest joy possible for a Jew is to build an ehrliche Yiddishe shteib in full accordance with the Torah, thereby drawing down the Shechinah into his home, creating a miniature Beis Hamikdash in the midst of his house. This is true fulfillment. This is true happiness. As Jews, we are constantly davening that we may see our children and our children's children involved in Torah and mitzvos. It is not stated anywhere that we should see children involved in secular studies. It is not stated anywhere that we should see children involved in mindless entertainment. We pray for one thing: to see children involved in the study of the holy Torah and performance of the mitzvos. This is the ardent desire of every Jew who is faithful to Hashem and His holy Torah, and anyone who calls himself a Jew must place all of his focus on this goal.
Children who have been given a proper chinuch understand this intuitively. It is only those who have been poisoned by heresy that believe otherwise. Those who know better and still spew this heresy are the worst of all. They are "kofer b'Ikar," denying the basis of the Torah. They are not part of authentic Torah Jews and should never be thought of as such. Their vileness has permeated every limb and organ of heir bodies, and Torah-true Jews must have nothing to do with these low-lives who follow in the footsteps of the wicked Lavan, who wished to uproot and destroy the entire Jewish nation, R"L.
Due to our many sins, the sight of many has been impaired to the point that they are unable to see the truth of this matter. This is thanks, in large part, to the Zionists who seek to destroy the very foundation of all Jewish homes, by implanting heresy and immorality into the minds and hearts of our precious children, R"L, through a variety of means that are all machinations of the Satan himself. Through the evil draft law, the Zionists hope to lend Jewish legitimacy to their heretical State and destroy the very foundation of Torah and Yiddishkeit. Through repeated attempts at introducing secular studies into yeshivos and seminaries, the evil heretics attempt to poison the minds and hearts of our holy children with every evil in the world. Let us join together and fight against the blasphemers who desire to uproot traditional Torah Yiddishkeit. Hashem is with us and He will break the pride of the resha'im.
* * *
The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, famously stated that the air of Kiryas Yoel is the air of Eretz Yisroel, for the town is permeated with kedushah, ehrliche chinuch, beautiful Yiddishe families, and uncompromising Torah values.
2. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, (Divrei Yoel Parashas Vayaitzei, pp. 9-10) explains the deeper significance behind Yaakov Avinu's caring for the sheep of Lavan. It is known, the Rebbe states, that these sheep contained the neshamos of Klal Yisroel that would later come back into human bodies and stand before Har Sinai at Kabalas HaTorah. Everything the Avos did, explains the Rebbe, was in preparation for us, their children. Yaakov Avinu, through shepherding Lavan's sheep, was gathering the sparks of holiness dispersed through the flock, and returning them to their source. This, explains the Rebbe, is precisely our task. We were sent into exile in order to gather the sparks of holiness from each spot on earth and rectify the blemishes. This is accomplished through establishing institutions of Torah and chinuch, learning Torah, davening, doing mitzvos, and establishing ehrliche Yiddishe homes throughout the world in galus. When all the necessary rectifications are finally accomplished, Moshiach will come and we will be redeemed.
Therefore, instead of sinfully pushing for the final redemption by attempting to settle the entire Land of Israel before Moshiach, all the while inciting the surrounding Muslim population to violence, let us do our jobs in Chutz Laaretz, living as ehrliche Yidden, gathering the sparks of holiness, thereby hastening the arrival of Moshiach.
3. In Parashas Ki Savo, we learn the laws of bikkurim. When a person brings bikkurim, he recalls the evil plot of Lavan by stating: "Arami Oveid Avi...." We give thanks to Hashem for saving us from the evil Lavan. In Divrei Yoel (Parashas Vayeitzei, p. 29), the Rebbe questions why, out of all the troubles and pain that Klal Yisroel had experienced, we recall the story of Lavan. The Rebbe notes, as mentioned above, that the sheep of Lavan that Yaakov shepherded were, in fact, the neshamos of Klal Yisroel that would eventually be reincarnated and accept the Torah at Har Sinai. The Rebbe explains that through Yaakov's shepherding of the flock, he brought these neshamos to the Side of Holiness. If Lavan had, G-d-forbid, destroyed Yaakov and his household, these neshamos would have fallen to the Sitra Achara, and the entire Jewish nation would, chas v'shalom, have been destroyed. We, therefore owe our nation's existence to Hashem for saving Yaakov from Lavan. Therefore, we thank Him in the bikkurim recital for sustaining us and keeping us alive to grant us the Holy Land, so that we may live under the wings of the Shechinah and serve Him constantly.
* * *
The truth is that we, too, are shepherds of Jewish souls: the pure neshamos placed in our charge in the form of our children. We must exert great strength to ensure that the holy neshamos of our children are not taken by the Sitra Achra. The greatest form of the Sitra Achra today is Zionism. The evil Zionists are constantly searching for ways to destroy the pure neshamos of our beloved, precious, innocent, little children. It is our obligation to stand up to the apikorsim at any cost, and prevent them from destroying the next generation of ehrliche Yidden.
We must never fear pressure from the outside. We must stand up and speak the truth. The Zionists, specifically the politicians in the Zionist government and secular "education," and IDF officials, all of whom want to take our beautiful, precious children away from the Torah, are the lowest forms of existence on planet Earth. They are the Amaleik of the generation, possessed by demonic forces, physically and spiritually. They have no part in the Jewish nation, and should be shunned and publicly disgraced by every believing Jew. How can we, as believing Jews, stand by silently, as vile, demonic murderers step foot on the shores of America and incite against the President of the United States of America, to whom we are loyal as citizens of the United States? We should cry out when the filth of the earth comes to America to lobby congress to support their heretical state.
Let us strengthen ourselves in the proper and upright way. Let us fearlessly decry all heresy. Let all who stand for the truth of the Torah find comfort in the words of our holy sages.
4. When discussing Yaakov Avinu's great level of bitachon in Hashem, the Rebbe elaborates: "In truth, every single Jew has a true desire to trust in Hashem completely. However, to come to completeness in the middah of bitachon is a very difficult matter and a great test, for one is faced with the Yetzer Hara and a proliferation of heresy and forces that seek to prevent a person from coming to the level of trust in Hashem. It is only through Heavenly assistance that a person is able to come to perfection in this middah. If we truly desire to come to this middah, Hashem will help us...and even one who has not come to this level of bitachon, if he has a desire to attain this trait, he will be helped by Hashem to achieve completion in trust. Surely, Hashem loves this person and will help him, so that his soul should acquire the middah of bitachon in completion." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Vayeitzei, p. 62, Zemiros Divrei Yoel 1, pp. 386 - 387)
As Jews, it is essential that we trust only in Hashem. This applies to every aspect of our lives, including our national dream of the final redemption, may it be speedily in our days. In this regard as well, we must at least desire to have complete bitachon in Hashem, and then, as the Rebbe explains here, Hashem will help us to be able to actually acquire true and complete bitachon in Him. If we trust in Hashem to bring the final redemption, we will never fall for any false "redemptions" that claim to be the salvation of the Jewish People, but are, in truth, innovators of evil and heresy. May the Master of the World aid us and save us from falling prey to heresy.
5. "The Passuk in Tehillim states, "Kumah Elokim, shaftah ha'aretz, ki Atah sinchal b'chol hagoyim." The Yismach Moshe, in Tefillah L'Moshe, explains as follows: The seventy nations of the world correspond with seventy heavenly princes. However, in time to come, they will all be together under the hand of Hashem alone and the entire world will be the concept of Eretz Yisroel...the entire world will experience the revelation of the Shechinah, and the holiness of Eretz Yisroel will be there." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Vayeitzei, p. 106)
We learn here a little about the way it will be when the true Moshiach finally arrives. From this, we can infer the following. If these special blessings have not come about, then Moshiach has clearly not yet arrived. Many Jews, even some frum Yidden have, unfortunately, stumbled into believing the lie that the establishment of the "State of Israel" is beginning of the redemption. It is difficult to understand how any believing Jew could think such a thing. It is even difficult to see how anyone with an eye in his head could believe this. The existence of the Zionist State, besides for inherently being a severe sin tantamount to idol worship, has brought nothing but pain and suffering to the Jewish People and the world. We must strengthen ourselves in emunah and bitachon and daven to Hashem to send us the true and final redemption speedily and without delay.