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Divrei Yoel Lech Lecha


1. "The truth is that this is a very difficult labor and not every person is able to rejoice greatly in the effort involved in performing mitzvos. Now, regarding the mitzvah to rejoice on the holidays, one can fulfill this obligation through meat and wine and the like. However, the concept of simcha shel mitzvah is purely spiritual. This simcha is attacked by the Yetzer Hara, and therefore, this level of service to Hashem is very great and is at the head of all levels of avodas Hashem." (Divrei Yoel Parashas Lech Lecha, p. 207)

Here, the Rebbe is discussing two different levels of simcha. One level is a more physical level of joy accomplished through the eating of meat and the drinking of wine. The meat and wine are not the essence of the joy of Yom Tov; rather, they are merely the catalyst through which one can come to true simchas Yom Tov. The Gemara teaches that the main aspect of simchas Yom Tov was the korbanos brought in the Beis Hamikdash, specifically the Korban Chagigah. Since the Beis Hamikdash is no longer standing, we lack a fundamental simchah on Yom Tov. Given this fact, what is the point of eating meat and wine on Yom Tov now, when the meat is not the meat of the korbanos? The reason cannot be purely for physical pleasure. Our Yom Tov meals are supposed to be stepping stones in our service of Hashem.

Perhaps we can explain as follows. The meat we eat on Yom Tov today is supposed to remind us of the Yamim Tovim during the time of the Beis Hamikdash. We should become heartsick for the Beis Hamikdash and Hashem's Shechinah. These feelings should inspire us to concentrate upon how to do our part in rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash. This will lead us to perform mitzvos and learn Torah, creating an environment for the Shechinah to rest within our midst, generating the spiritual setting of the Beis Hamikdash right within our own homes, until the Bais Hamikdash is actually rebuilt.

Another explanation can be culled from a careful analysis of the Rebbe's words. The forces of Amaleik in each generation seek to damage Klal Yisroel. The evil emanating from Amaleik is characterized by doubt, a cooling off of our devotion to Hashem, and of course, the terrible sin of mockery. The klipa that is Amaleik seeks out the aspects of our lives that are permeated with the most kedushah. By bringing meat and wine, two of the most materialistic delicacies, to our table on Yom Tov, we divert the attention of the klippos away from our table, allowing our tables to become like the Shulchan in the Beis Hamikdash, thereby paving the way for Moshiach.

The Gemara in Meseches Berachos relates a story of how chunks of meat fell from Shomayim. The pieces of meat were brought to the Beis Midrash and the question was posed, "Is the meat Kosher?" The Chachamim answered, "Nothing impure falls from heaven." The Gemara then asks, "Does meat fall from Shomayim?". The meforshim explain that the Gemara is asking incredulously, "Can something as physical as meat come from the spiritual heavens?" The Gemara's affirmative answer shows that everything in the world comes from a holy source in Shomayim. The klippos, however, do not understand this, and they see everything through the lens of physicality, with no comprehension of ruchniyus. Therefore, when the forces of Amaleik see our table set for Shabbos and Yom Tov with meat and wine, they assume that there must be very little kedushah here. Therefore, they turn around and leave.

We, however, know the truth. The Midrash tells us that when Adam Harishon was in Gan Eden, the Malachim would roast meat and prepare wine for him. When we bring meat and wine to our Shabbos and Yom Tov tables, it is this type of meat and wine that we bring. Through our eating, we raise the physical foods and drinks to their spiritual source.

The Zionist klipah, which is the klipah of Amaleik, seeks to infect Klal Yisroel with the mentality with which they themselves operate: an inability to see ruchniyus in life. They want to create a secular and nationalistic Jewish Nation, chas v'shalom, through attempting to pull religious Jews into the Zionist government, the Zionist army, and Zionist colleges. All of these institutions seek to destroy the very foundation of our nation. We must distance ourselves from these organizations and all who believe in them. Guns, iron domes, government papers, and college books are not our saviors. "K'mohem yihyu oseihem, kol asher boteiach bahem".

2. The Satmar Rebbe, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Lech Lecha, p.211), explains that through Avraham Avinu's traveling to Eretz Yisroel because he believed in Hashem, he received a blessing in his money. Through this bracha, explains the Rebbe, Avraham Avinu was able to reveal to the entire world the great kindnesses of Hashem. This power he attained through the bracha given to him by Hashem, as well as through residing in Eretz Yisroel.

Both Eretz Yisroel and money share a commonality. They are both physical entities, but can be used as invaluable tools in the service of Hashem. When we come to a true realization of this fact, we can serve Hashem properly. If we use our money properly, and only use money that is from a pure source, our money will be blessed by Hashem. This will, in turn, give us the power to spread knowledge of Hashem throughout the world, and to do so from Eretz Yisroel. We see clearly today how so many people have been misled by the stumbling blocks that the Zionists have placed in the way of the ehrliche Yidden. Once the Charedim have taken Zionist money, they can no longer show Hashem's glory to the entire world, as they are under the control of those who deny the existence of Hashem, R"L.

It is worthwhile to note another subtlety in the words of the Rebbe. Avraham Avinu went to Eretz Yisroel because Hashem told him to do so. Avraham went with Emunah and Bitachon. If only we would go to Eretz Yisroel with such a perspective! This stands in stark contrast to the widespread mentality today. Many people unfortunately believe that we should go to "Israel" because there is a "Jewish State" there. They think we should "make aliyah" because the evil reprobate who calls himself the Prime Minister of Israel says Jews should make aliyah. This is utter heresy. Firstly, the Jewish People are commanded under dire warnings not to ascend en mass to Eretz Yisroel. Hashem told the Jewish People: "If you abide by the commands not to ascend en mass to Eretz Yisroel, not to attempt to end the galus on your own, and not to rebel against the nations, all is well. If not, I will permit your flesh like the deer and gazelles of the field." (Shir Hashirim Rabbah) By encouraging mass immigration to Eretz Yisroel, the Jews bring Hashem's wrath, R"L, upon themselves. Dangers increase in Eretz Yisroel, and still more blood is shed! Isn't 68 years of needless bloodshed emough? Imagine how much greater Klal Yisroel would be, both in number and wisdom, if not for the Zionist wars and provocations.

The organizations that orchestrate aliyah to "Israel" are putting the Jewish People in terrible danger. They are leading the masses astray as did Yeravam ben Nevat in his day. The most painful part of this is that Charedim are, many times, involved in these organizations, simply failing to realize the terrible aveiros they are committing. Charedim react to this mass aliyah with thankful eye-rolling and murmurs of, "Baruch Hashem." Maybe they should put their eyes back in their heads and realize that the cause of avodah zarah is furthered each time another one of the "olim" steps foot in our Holy Land. Some Charedim have even taken to promoting these organizations in front of the whole world, refusing to see the danger they are inflicting upon the entire Jewish Nation.

Let us commit ourselves to learn only from our holy Torah, and its scholars. This way, we will be saved from all heretical ideas.

3. "We see that the reward was measure for measure. Since Avraham Avinu would sit his guests under his tree, which miraculously separated between tzaddikim and resha'im, between servants of Hashem and those who did not serve Him, the reward for this was that Avraham's descendants were given the mitzvah of Sukkah, which also sheds light and distinguishes between the tzaddikim and the resha'im". (Zemiros Divrei Yoel, p. 304)

4. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, in Divrei Yoel (Parashas Lech Lecha, pp. 288 - 289) discusses the great tests characterizing the time before Moshiach. The Rebbe explains that the forces of the Samech Mem will attempt to invade the places of kedushah in order to inject their impurity into the holiness of Klal Yisroel. The Rebbe exhorts us to cling fast to the Torah and to Hashem; under no circumstances should we attempt to take back Eretz Yisroel before Moshiach.

Despite the great difficulty involved in staying true to the Torah in these difficult times, we can take comfort in the realization that all the tests we face are precisely that -- tests of our faith. Hashem wants to see how closely we will cling to him and how fimly we will stand up for the Torah. Every step we put forward for these causes brings great nachas to H-shem, and great reward to us.

We are living in the time before Moshiach. During this time, the tests are very great and we must summon all of our strength to stand against the apikorsim. It takes super-human effort to walk in the way of the Torah without compromise. Let us cling to the Torah and to the tzaddikim, and this will give us the strength and the courage to walk with pride in the ways of Hashem.