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Divrei Yoel Bamidbar / Shavuos


1. "We see that we were chosen from amongst all the other nations that dwell on the face of the earth to be a treasured people, to guard His Torah and its mitzvos. Hashem entrusted us with a precious and dear gift: the Torah. He entrusted us with the inheritance of the Holy Land and the mitzvos of the Torah, the fulfillment of which is dependent on our entering the Land since we cannot observe them in galus; and so it says in the Torah: 'When you come to the Land....' The reference here is to the mitzvos related to the ground, which do not apply anywhere but in Eretz Yisroel. Also, the promises of reward Hashem made to us, His treasured nation, will be fulfilled in the Holy Land as it says: 'A land flowing with milk and honey....' Not only that but, the main place for fulfillment of the Torah and mitzvos is in Eretz Yisroel, as the Ramban writes at the end of Parshas Acharei.

"In truth, we see that Eretz Yisroel was given over only to the Jewish People. Even though the other nations could have agreed to accept the Torah when Hashem offered it to them, we never find that Hashem mentioned to them that if they would accept the Torah, they would merit receiving Eretz Yisroel. This explains the complaint of the nations of the world: 'What is so special about the Jewish People, above the rest of the other nations, that Hashem promised them this land?’ The reason why He promised them the land is because it is part of the Torah, and the entire Torah is dependent on it, as explained by the Ramban there." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Bamidbar, p. 9)
As Jews, the focus of our lives is Torah and mitzvos. We aspire to be on a spiritual plane whereby everything we have is used only in the service of Hashem, and everything we view is seen through the lens of the Torah and mitzvos. The truth is, however, that it is very rare to find such people today. This low level of spiritual perception can create the potential for significant stumbling blocks for us individually and as a nation. We must constantly be on guard against tricksters who would like us to believe that different aspects of our religious observance are not actually mitzvos and should be viewed instead, chas v'shalom, as political moves. The Rebbe tells us very clearly here: Eretz Yisroel is part of the Torah. We need Eretz Yisroel in the context of mitzvah performance. When sinners go to Eretz Yisroel and commit aveiros, and utilize the land for terrible sins and desecration of Hashem's Holy Name, R"L, terrible results follow.

It is of the utmost importance for us to understand that Eretz Yisroel is not supposed to be a political nation like all other countries. Eretz Yisroel is a holy place, designated for the Jewish People at certain times of history by Hashem Himself. What kind of sense does it make to claim that Eretz Yisroel belongs to the Jews while rejecting the Torah and denying Hashem, chas v'shalom? If you firmly believe that Eretz Yisroel will one day be given to the Jews, then you must follow through with the rest of the Torah's mitzvos and wait patiently for Hashem's redemption. When this great and longed-for event finally takes place, we, as the Jewish People, will use Eretz Yisroel as a tool in our Avodas Hashem. This is the fulfillment of the intention of our receiving Eretz Yisroel. If we understand Eretz Yisroel in this way, we will be able to stand firm in the face of complete confusion, with the Torah-true understanding of our Holy Land.

2. " From this, we can see that there is a great obligation upon those few Jews who still keep the path of the Torah to support the pure educational systems that do not accept funding from the wicked, both here and in Eretz Yisroel. May the Master of All Worlds help and shower upon the Jewish People the means to support Torah institutions so that they should have no need to benefit from sources foreign to Hashem and His Holy Torah, chas v' shalom, for through this they fall." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Bamidbar, p. 15)
The above comment of the Divrei Yoel brings to mind a comment of Rashi in the beginning if Parashas Tzav. There, Rashi explains the reason for the Torah's special emphasis that the Kohanim must be vigilant in offering the Korban Olah. Since the kohen receives no portion of this offering for himself, it is considered as though he has experienced a monetary loss, and since a monetary loss is involved, an extra warning to the Kohen is warranted.
How great is the lure of money! With the offer of money, an ehrliche yeshiva can be drawn into taking money from unclean if not outright heretical sources. Once an institution accepts such money, terrible destruction occurs. All the members of this institution are under the thumb of the donors, often willingly bowing to agreements inherently against their principles to avoid the loss of funding. We must explain to those who have fallen into this trap that their path has not led them anywhere positive, and they must work hard to extricate themselves from this quagmire. We must also strengthen and encourage those who have stayed strong to continue in their path without compromise. We must never bend from the Torah-true path and, chas v'shalom, fall into the pit of submissiveness to a government of heresy.

The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, writes in VaYoel Moshe of the great importance and merit of supporting those who live in Eretz Yisroel in order to serve Hashem and are not supported by contaminated money. The Rebbe writes that he himself was working very hard in this matter, showing us the overriding importance of this work.

3. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Bamidbar, p. 109) explains that in the aftermath of the sin of the golden calf, Shevet Levi founded yeshivos and schoolhouses of chinuch to help the Jewish nation to recover from the terrible damage caused by the cheit haeigel. Ehrliche generations emerged from those institutions that remained unsullied by the contamination brought about by the sin. It is understandable, then, why the Zionists have always attacked the ehrliche Yiddishe schools with a great vengeance. They understand that the future of the entire Jewish nation depends upon chinuch, and if they were, chas v' shalom, able to inject heresy into the minds of the young children, their job would be so very, very much easier. Therefore, it is of the greatest importance that we not compromise even a tiny fraction when it comes to the chinuch of our precious children. We must expend significant time and energy to save the beloved tinokos shel beis rabban and fight with all our strength to ensure that the heretics will never lay their clutches on these pure, innocent, beautiful neshamos.

The Yiddishe children have a unique status. They are completely free of sin, for they are not capable of committing sin before the age of bar mitzvah. Today, evil people are so steeped in sin and impurity that because they understand the purity of the little children, they seek to poison their minds and destroy them from the youngest ages. Any thinking person realizes that this is a plot of undiluted evil, evil emanating from the lowest depths of depravity. We must answer the call of the times and stand up in protest against the heretics who want to destroy the holy neshamos of Klal Yisroel.
The Gemara in Meseches Berachos 7b teaches, “If you see a wicked man who is succeeding, do not fight with him… this depends if he is wicked in matters related to you, or commandments from heaven.” Before we go out and punish the wicked, certain conditions must be met. However, there is an exception. The Meforshim explain that this great reserve and hesitancy apply only when the rasha is keeping his wickedness to himself. In this scenario, we generally leave his punishment up to Hashem, with the hope that before a punishment comes, the sinner will do teshuvah. The situation is different, however, in the case of someone who is spreading his wickedness to others and gaining a following. Regarding this type of a rasha, we must use all our power to fight him and enlighten everyone regarding the truth. In Kuntres Chiddushei Torah Uderashos 93, the Rebbe states that it is our obligation to emulate Pinchas. The Rebbe explains that although we are not completely in Pinchas's category, we must, nevertheless, do all that we can to fight breaches in Yiddishkeit.

Once, the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, delivered a fiery speech against the heresy of Zionism. The intensity of the speech angered many people to such an extent that the Zionists began plotting to assassinate the Rebbe, R"L. In light of this plot, several people came to the Rebbe and pleaded with him to relax his fight against heresy, as he was apparently endangering himself. The Rebbe cried out: "Let them come in now and shoot me! I am prepared to give my life for the sake of the Creator!" Baruch Hashem, the Rebbe was protected from heaven, and no one was able to harm him. (Heard from R' Yehoshua Gross)

4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY'"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Yisro, p. 97) cites the Gemara in Meseches Sanhedrin 59a, which teaches that an idolater is forbidden to study Torah. In fact, he is liable to death for doing so. With this understanding, the Rebbe explains a puzzling Medrash which states that when Moshe Rabeinu heard the first of the Aseres HaDibros, he said: "Baruch shelo asani goy." Since all the Aseres HaDibros were recited by Hashem in a single utterance, how can we explain the above teaching that Moshe Rabeinu said: "Baruch shelo asani goy" only after the first proclamation? The Rebbe explains that, in truth, the entire Torah was recited in one utterance (as explained by the Maharal), and it was in response to the entire Torah that Moshe made his statement, since as Jews, we, unlike idolaters, can study Torah.

We can thus understand that as Jews, we must take advantage of the opportunity to study Torah, for this is a major cornerstone of our existence, individually and as a nation. The seforim of Chassidus teach that although Shavuos is much shorter than Pesach or Sukkos, the greatness of this holiday is, in a sense, of an even larger magnitude than that of the longer holidays since we are Jews only by virtue of the fact that we stood at Har Sinai and accepted the Torah on this day.

It is crucial that we understand this point. We must know and understand what it means to be Jewish. Judaism is not a political party. It is not nationalism. Judaism is a religion. We are Jewish only because we accepted the Torah. As Jews, we must follow the Torah in all aspects, to the best of our ability. To build a so-called "Jewish State" is completely nonsensical since the Torah is our guide, and the Torah forbids a Jewish State to be established prior to the arrival of Moshiach. The Torah commands us instead to follow its rules in exile, and by waiting patiently for Hashem's salvation, we will merit Moshiach.

The truth is that anyone with open eyes can see that modern-day Israel is not the redemption foretold by our holy prophets. The Zionists believe that accomplishment should be measured by the number of technological advancements made in Israel, by the military prowess of its heretical army, and by the percentage of college graduates in Israel. This is most assuredly not the Torah-true path. The Rebbe explains clearly who we are as a nation: we live by the Torah. It is the Torah that makes us Yidden. Accomplishment in both Torah and mitzvos is really the only true measurement of success.

We must, however, come to an even deeper understanding, since one might think that if the Israeli government consisted of devout, religious Jews who measured their success in terms of Torah and mitzvos, there would be no problem with a state in Eretz Yisroel. However, anyone who believes this is overlooking a fundamental point. The existence of a "Jewish" state, in any form, in Eretz Yisroel before the time of Moshiach is against halacha. It simply does not matter who the prime minister is. The very existence of independent Jewish rule in Eretz Yisroel now is already a terrible failure when measured in terms of Torah and mitzvos, negating any "success" that might seem to result from such a government. In fact, any seemingly positive results, even from a "frum" state, would not bring about positive effects in the long run. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in his pamphlet, Al Hageulah V'al Hatemurah, p. 133, teaches that with the arrival of Moshiach, everything built by the Zionists will be destroyed.
Through studying the above-mentioned section of Divrei Yoel, we can understand why the Zionists, from their very inception, worked and continue to work very hard to destroy Torah study. Their desire is, chas v'shalom, to turn Torah-true Yidden into idolaters. In modern times, the Zionists use their contaminated army and secular studies to attempt to further their evil agenda.
This is one of the reasons that it is so very important to refrain from accepting money from the Zionist government for yeshivos and seminaries. Along with this impure money come compromises in the purity of our ehrlich and holy chinuch system. The evil heretics use this money to lure ehrliche Yidden into their clutches, chas v' shalom, destroying the innocent and untainted minds of our pure children. Let us accept upon ourselves a new Kabbalos HaTorah, a Kabbalah to reject all heresy and enforce purity and ehrlichkeit.

5. R' Yitchok of Vorka explained that just as the Shabbos before Pesach is called "Shabbos Hagadol," and the Shabbos before Yom Kippur is called "Shabbos Shuva," the Shabbos before Shavuos is called "Shabbos Derech Eretz," since Chazal tell us that "derech eretz kadmah l'Torah [derech eretz (good manners) comes before Torah]." (Shavuos Secrets by R' Dovid Meisels) In our preparation to receive the Torah on Shavuos, we must refine ourselves.

Additionally, we could shed a different perspective on this idea with a quote from the Satmar Rebbe, ZY'A. The Rebbe explained the statement of the Navi (Yirmiyah 9:12): "Why was the land [eretz] lost? Because they forsook my Torah" as follows: Why did the Zionists name their country simply "Israel" without "eretz"? Because they forsook the Torah. Derech eretz literally means "the way of the land." On this Shabbos, Derech Eretz let us repair the breaches made by the evil deniers of Hashem and repair the "eretz" by rejecting all heresy. Through this great rectification, may we merit receiving the Torah in purity and holiness.

6. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Yisro, p. 103) explains that the first statement of the Aseres HaDibros, "I am Hashem your G'd," was an acceptance by the Jewish nation not to engage in idol worship; however, it was only an acceptance regarding the idolatry that existed at that time. The second statement, "You shall not have any other g'ds," is an injunction against forms of avodah zara that will sprout up in future times, R"L. When these forces of idolatry appear, it is incumbent upon us to fight them with all our strength. We cannot excuse ourselves by claiming that we did not agree to distance ourselves from the future, often veiled, forms of idolatry. In this section of Divrei Yoel, the Rebbe, in fact, mentions Zionism explicitly as one of these future forms of avodah zara.

It is incumbent upon every G'd-fearing Jew to fight against these terrible winds of heresy. The Rebbe, in Kuntres Chidushei Torah U'derashos, explains that every Jew must fight against those who wish to breach standards of kedushah, and the fight of the ehrliche Yidden gives Hashem great pleasure. It is of the utmost importance that we do whatever we can to protect ourselves and all those around us from being infected by heresy. If we put forth effort in this arena, Hashem will send us great help directly from Heaven.

As explained in the Gemara (Kesubos 111a) and elaborated upon by the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in his sefer, Vayoel Moshe, the very basis of Zionism is anti-Torah. It is absolutely, unequivocally forbidden to have a "Jewish" state before the time of Moshiach. The Jewish People were adjured under oath not to rise up against the other nations. The Zionists have violated this oath. The Jewish People were adjured by an oath not to ascend to Eretz Yisroel "as a wall." The Zionists have undertaken to violate this oath as well. In the Gemara (ibid), R' Elazar explains the passukim that are the basis for the above-mentioned oaths to mean that Hashem told the Jewish People that if they observe these oaths, then all will be well, but if, chas v'shalom, they do not observe these oaths, "I will permit your flesh as the gazelles and deer of the field." We should learn from this Gemara the frightful severity of, chas v' shalom, violating these oaths. The Zionist agenda is based upon the violation of these vows and many other severe Torah prohibitions.

After so many years of Zionism, it should be clear to any cognizant person that anything that emanates from Zionism is nothing in which any Jew should involve himself. All their "grand accomplishments" are nothing but dreadful failures and inane idol worship --- be it their heretical military, their satanic "Knesset," or their impure colleges. Any Torah-true Jew is sickened by the behavior that emanates from these temples of idol worship. As ehrliche Yidden, we have a desire to be distanced as much as possible from this terrible filth. We want only to cling to Hashem.
It is important to note that although Torah-true Jews are often portrayed as hateful toward the Zionists, the truth is actually quite different. Rashi teaches that at Har Sinai, the Jewish People were encamped "as one man with one heart." This is the beautiful state of existence that we crave. We want to be in complete unity so that we can experience a true Kabbalos HaTorah. However, true unity can only be achieved when we all have the common goal of serving Hashem. Our hearts bleed over the terrible pit into which so many misguided Yidden have fallen. We pray that they should be brought back to Hashem in complete teshuvah so that we can all merit a true Kabbalos Hatorah, and when the sinners return in complete teshuva, we will accept them with open arms.

The Satmar Rebbe writes in Sheilos V'Teshuvos Divrei Yoel that if a person does not believe fully in Hashem's acceptance of his genuine teshuvah, he makes a beracha in vain three times a day when he says in Shemoneh Esrei: "Who graciously grants forgiveness." May we all merit doing complete teshuva.

7. "'And G'd spoke all of these utterances, saying....' (Shemos 20:1)
Rashi comments on this passuk that Hashem uttered, so to speak, all of the Aseres HaDibros in one utterance, which is beyond the ability of a human being. If so, why are the Aseres Hadibros written one by one? This teaches us that the commandments were repeated one by one so that Bnei Yisroel could understand them. The Maharal in his sefer, Gur Aryeh, explains that Hashem said all of the Aseres HaDibros in one utterance even though as human beings, we are not capable of comprehending anything said in this manner. He did this in order to teach us that the entire Torah is one matter and one utterance since the entire Torah emanates from the Aseres HaDibros. Furthermore, since the Aseres HaDibros were spoken with one utterance, it emerges that the entire Torah was spoken with one utterance, hence, if a person claims that the entire Torah except for one verse came from heaven, he is a denier of the entire Torah, because there is no part of the Torah that is separate from another part. Even the tiniest point of the Torah is from Heaven and is connected to all other points of the Torah." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Yisro, p. 96)

8. "And this is the foundation of the berachos that we make over mitzvos, to give praise to Hashem, that the Jewish People were singled out for the goodness [of the Torah and mitzvos] which was not given to the other nations." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Yisro, p. 104)

It is imperative, especially as we approach the holiday of Shavuos, for us to understand that the fact that we have the Torah and mitzvos is a truly incomprehensible joy. The Torah is the greatest treasure possible, and we must treat it as such. We must realize that as Jews, we are so very fortunate to have the Torah and to live in its light, as opposed to the other nations that stumble in the dark.

A lack of appreciation for this monumental gift is the source of terrible stumbling blocks. Ever since its founding, the Zionist movement has sought to rip us away from the Holy Torah, chas v'shalom, and make us like the non-Jews. The fact that there are still ehrliche Yidden who refuse to bend to heresy is their greatest source of frustration. The goal of the evil heretics is to destroy our Yiddishkeit since they envy the non-Jews and do not have any inkling as to the great preciousness of the Torah; however, we who strive to be Torah-true Jews understand that the Torah is an inseparable part of our Jewishness. In fact, it is the only thing that defines us as Jews.

If we appreciate the Torah, we will never entertain thoughts of heresy. We have absolutely no desire to follow in the ways of the rest of the nations. We see the tremendous beauty of the Torah. Why would we ever want to be divorced from it? May we all merit a greater understanding of the Torah and its beauty so that we can truly receive the Torah again this Shavuos with a fire of love and warmth for Torah. Amein!