Monday, January 28, 2008

Typical Lubavitch shtuff

Whenever a topic doesn't immediately suggest itself I try to remember something interesting that I learned recently. Today is one of those days. How about some Gemara? That's usually exciting. My thanks to Mesorah Publications/Artscroll for (presumably) not reading this blog and suing me for copyright infringement. I do recall a Halacha (law) that allows a person to ignore warnings such as the one reproduced in the beginning of the volume if by doing so a person will be spreading the light of Torah throughout the world, and possibly to California as well. Anyway, you're supposed to have Mesiras Nefesh to teach Torah, right? It's like the verse says, "Even if Nosson Scherman doth commence litigation, I shall not tarry." Or something like that.

The Gemara in Berachos, 3a, quotes a teaching of Rav, and I'll quote it too. "Rav Yitzchak bar Shmuel said in the name of Rav: The night consists of three watches, and at each and every watch the Holy One, Blessed is He, sits and roars like a lion and says: Woe to the children because of whose sins I destroyed My Temple, and burned My Sanctuary, and exiled them among the nations of the world.

I learned a Maamar with my dear friend and fellow Shliach YYXPS (Yosef Yitzchak Shusterman) that deals with exile (B'laila Hahu 1968). Back in the day I learned in Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm's Yeshiva, and he used to like saying a certain thing that I'll now relay over to you, my devoted (and apparently patronized) followers. Don't worry, this all connects in the end. At the beginning of Psalm 126 we say, "Shir Hamaalos B'shuv Hashem Es Shivas Tzion Hayinu K'cholmim, which literally translates, "A song of ascents, when Hashem will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers" (Again, thanks to out friends at Artscroll). There are many different explanations of this verse, and this is Rabbi Wilhelm's: when Moshiach comes we will look back on exile and see it as if it was a dream. As the Maamar says (see? I told you I'd tie it all in), many strange things can happen in a dream. An elephant can walk through the eye of a needle. An airplane can eat chicken. A chicken can eat an airplane. Heck, the eye of a needle could even walk through an elephant. A dream is not merely something which makes no sense; it is something which made sense at one point, during the dream, and now is incomprehensible. Our lives make sense, but only because we haven't yet woken up. Once we wake up, with the coming of the Messiah, we will realize how everything we experienced in exile really made no sense. Hey, most of it barely makes sense anyway.
It's a nice vort, no?
Getting back to the Gemara, we see that Hashem waits for us to come back to him. So why don't we start listening, and end this bad dream?
(If I was in a different mood, I'd savage this pretentious post with a quickness reminiscent of the late great Karl Retburg's famous impression of tortoises on steroids in January. In the snow. Yeah.)


Just like a guy said...

Post this has been reposted.

e said...

Wasn't this supposed to be my job?

You should have written, "Reposted this has been reposted."

Just like a guy said...

I'm sorry.

e said...

Don't be. I checked the old versions to see if I had commented. Now that you're including in the new post that no one commented last time, I really feel no need to check it out.

Just like a guy said...

Once I run out of toichendig posts that were never commented on to post, I'll start ones that only you and I commented on.

And don't worry, this recycling is only temporary.