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Divrei Yoel Shmini - Parah

1. The reading of Parashas Parah is read before Pesach as a reminder that everyone should purify himself before the holiday in order to be able to offer the Korban Pesach. (Of course, this only applied physically when the Beis Hamikdash stood; however, today the parasha of the Parah Adumah is still read and according to some is a biblical obligation.) The Korban Pesach is a unique mitzvah, being one of only two positive mitzvos that carry the penalty of kares for non-fulfilment. The other such positive mitzvah is the mitzvah of milah. This must tell us that there is a connection between these two mitzvos. When we examine the relationship between these two mitzvos, we find a great lesson in how we should act as Torah-true Jews. Milah represents the idea of distancing ourselves from immorality, and the Korban Pesach represents the rejection of avodah zarah. In the slaughtering of the Korban Pesach, the Jewish People in Egypt publicly displayed their defiance and rejection of the Egyptian idol, the sheep. Perhaps, the message for us is that in order to defeat heresy, we must strengthen our holiness and morality. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, would often discuss these two issues together, decrying the heretical Zionist state and at the same time, exhorting the masses to tznius (see The Rebbe Speaks by R' Dovid Meisels).

One can clearly see this today. The Zionists have contaminated our Holy Land with all sorts of immorality. The Satmar Rebbe and other Gedolei Yisroel would point out that one of the tell-tale sign of the illegitimacy of the Zionist state was the pervasive immorality at their clubs and gatherings. One of the Zionist leaders famously stated that "...we need to have our own perverts like everyone else...." Such a perspective can only come from the lowest depths of satanical existence! The Zionists want to make us believe that we have to be like every other nation, and part of this entails engaging in and promoting the lowest forms of depravity. They tell us that this is part of being cultured in the modern era, but we reject this. The great tzaddik R' Tzvi Hirsch of Liska once said: "Regarding every breach, I was told that it was the fashion. I didn't understand what that meant until I realized that a new style is synonymous with a breach." Guided by our tzaddikim, we do not follow the other nations; we follow the Torah!

Modesty is a distinctly human trait. Animals possess no concept of modesty. Interlocked with this concept is the "Tzelem Elokim," the G"dly face a person possesses. Unfortunately, we can find today Zionist institutions, which proclaim themselves to be religious, wherein terrible breaches of modesty take place. Zionists proclaim co-ed classes and mixed learning centers to be heimish. What a terrible shame this is! They are completely distanced from Hashem and the Holy Torah. They have literally peeled the Tzelem Elokim off of their faces, and they resemble animals much more than they resemble humans! May we merit to be saved from this terrible breach!

2. There is some dispute as to what the sin of Nadav and Avihu actually was. The Rebbe in Divrei Yoel (Acharei Mos p. 24) offers an interesting perspective. The Rebbe explains that Nadav and Avihu did not marry because they hoped, so to speak, to "threaten" Hashem. Nadav and Avihu were great tzaddikim and leaders of the generation, so they hoped that all the people would follow their example and refrain from marrying, bringing about a situation whereby the Jewish People would be in danger of extinction and hence, force Moshiach to come to stop this catastrophe from actually happening. They were punished with death for their attempt to force the coming of the geulah.

Two powerful lessons we can derive from this explanation of the Divrei Yoel are as follows: Firstly, we see from this how serious a sin it is to attempt to force the coming of Moshiach. If even the great tzaddikim and leaders of Klal Yisroel, Nadav and Avihu, were forbidden to force the end, what can we say for ourselves? Secondly, we must remember that the incident with Nadav and Avihu occurred at a time in Klal Yisroel's history when the Jewish People were on a very high spiritual plane. The Mishkan had just been completed, and if there was any time when the Jewish People would have been viewed favorably in Heaven, it seemingly would have been at that time. Even so, they were forbidden to push for the end of the galus, and the attempt to do so was met with a severe punishment.

Today, we are, unfortunately, on a very low level in regard to our connection to Hashem. We live on a much lower spiritual level than our forefathers. How can we even contemplate taking any action to end the exile before the appointed time? These efforts will never succeed and will only hurt the Jewish People, chas v'shalom. Instead, let us wait patiently until Hashem Himself redeems us with the coming of the true redemption.

Today, there are some people who think that we can and, in fact, should attempt to ascend Har Habayis and offer the Korban Pesach. They take this action without the permission of the Gedolei Hador, and, in fact, act contrary to their wishes. These people do not come from the side of holiness; they come from the opposite side and it is clear to every Torah-true Jew, that nothing good, holy, or pure will come from their contaminated ideology.

3. The Belzer Rebbe (R' Aharon) said that the inyan of Mechias Amaleik does not end on Purim, but rather continues until Pesach. During this period of time, this fight against Amaleik is represented by our search for and destruction of chametz. As mentioned previously, the Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, brings in Divrei Yoel (Bahaloscha Parashas Beshalach 311) from the Chofetz Chaim that the true Amalakim are the Zionists. As we head toward Pesach, we should keep in mind that as we are cleaning our homes, we also have a responsibility to rid ourselves of the hidden Amaleik and to examine ourselves to be certain that we do not have a little Zionist voice within ourselves, no matter how small it may be.

Chametz is very unique. Chazal teach us that for all forbidden foods, and, indeed, most every other forbidden article or act, there is a time/place of permissibility for it. For example, some non-kosher foods are permitted when nullified to a sixtieth; others become permitted when nullified to one hundredth. Chametz is different. Chametz is forbidden no matter how little of it is contained in a mixture. If you took all the matzah in the whole world together and added the tiniest crumb of chametz, the mixture would be entirely forbidden, and Chazal tell us that this is because chametz is the yetzer hara, and even the slightest speck of the yetzer hara cannot be tolerated. The Satmar Rebbe, ZY"A, discusses in Vayoel Moshe how the Zionist state is the epitome of the Satan and the source of all the tumah in the whole world. So, surely, we can understand that chametz is truly a representation of Zionism.

Another famous statement of Chazal tells us that chametz represents ga'avah, arrogance --- truly a fitting description of the Zionists and their accursed regime. The Zionists believe that they should flaunt their so-called "Jewish culture" (what does that even mean?!) in the face of the rest of the world. We, as Torah Jews, believe the opposite. We must bow our heads and be submissive to the nations while we are in exile. We find that this is how Moshe acted when he went to Paroh. He showed Paroh great respect since Paroh was the leader of the country. What an amazing lesson! Paroh was completely evil, through and through. He was killing the Jewish People and embittering their lives. He proclaimed himself a G"D, chas v'shalom, and was a terribly immoral person. Yet, Moshe Rabbeinu still showed him honor since he was the king. We must learn this lesson. We acknowledge the leaders of our host countries. We try to be good, law-abiding citizens. This is what Hashem, our Holy King, wants from us, and we heed His call. This is a fundamental lesson that we all must strive to internalize as we eliminate the physical leaven.

In this process of spiritual development, we must come to a clear and fundamental understanding of what the Torah demands of us and how to apply this understanding to our lives. These days, Benjamin Netanyahu claims to represent the world's Jewry. This is a terrible disgrace! He proclaims himself to be a savior of the Jewish People. This is, in truth, a lie. Contrary to what he expects, we, as Torah-true Jews are not loyal to him. We are loyal to Hashem and His Holy Torah. What has He commanded us? He has commanded us to respect and support the leaders of the countries in which we live. Benjamin Netanyahu represents Amaleik! Our Gedolim have already told us what a disgrace it is for that defiled man to step foot on the shores of this country, and that, in fact, he should, in theory, be thrown off these shores as soon as he steps foot upon them.

We have seen that chametz is Amaleik, and Amaleik is Zionism. This should infuse our cleaning with feeling and passion. Finally, when we reach the night of the 14th of Nissan we conduct a special search for chametz: Bedikas Chametz. Bedikas Chametz is conducted with a candle at night, for this is the most effective way of searching out and finding the chametz. Perhaps, this comes to teach us a very deep point. It is human nature to not see one's own faults, so when we search out the hidden aspects of heresy and Zionism within ourselves, how can we be expected to find them? Bedikas Chametz gives us the answer: with a candle. What does this mean? We must look to the passuk in Mishlei 6:23: "Ki neir mitzvah v' sorah ohr (for the mitzvah is a candle and the Torah is light)." Through proper learning of Torah and performance of mitzvos, we can honestly search out and destroy the chametz within us.

One year, after Bedikas Chametz, the Ahavas Yisroel of Vizhnitz, ZT"L, turned to his gabbai and in a dramatic gesture, pulled open his bekishe and said: "Now search out the chametz in my heart!" The Gabay responded: "Rebbe, the halacha is that a place into which chametz was never brought does not require a search." These true tzaddikim, who never brought "chametz" into their hearts but in their great humility are concerned about this spiritual chametz, illuminate the way `and guide us even when we are surrounded by the deepest darkness of heresy.