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Teachings on Vayikra from Reb Shlomo, z”l


June 6, 2020 10:48 am June 6, 2020 10:48 am America/New_York Teachings on Vayikra from Reb Shlomo, z”l

Reb Shlomo, z”l, on Vayikra The Essence Of Hashem The Medrash says that when G-d spoke to Avraham, G-d’s voice sounded like his own voice. But when G-d spoke to Yitzchak, it was the voice of Avraham, and when He spoke to Ya’akov, it was the voice of Yitzchak. When He spoke to Moshe, it was the voice of Amram his father. But here, in Vayikra, something changes. Vayikra el Moshe – he heard G-d’s voice but this time it didn’t sound like his father. Moshe began to hear his own voice as well. Why suddenly here, now in the beginning of Vayikra? Open your hearts in the deepest depths. Everybody knows that Bereishis is the book of creation. G-d created the world, He created it hidden. In Shmos G-d took us out of Egypt and gave us the Torah. Vayikra is something else. Vayikra is sefer avoda, it’s about reaching beyond yourself through the service of G-d. What does Avodas Hashem mean? It is possible to know every word of the Torah. It is possible to do everything right, but you are still not a servant of G-d. You’re a fine person, you do everything right, but a servant of G-d is something else. Who is a servant of G-d? Service of G-d begins with korbanos, sacrifices, being close to G-d. Take husband and wife. They are very correct to each other, they are always good to each other, treat each other with respect but they are not close to each other. There are parents who do everything for their children, sweet and cute, but they are not close. I can even sit in paradise because I did everything right, and yet it doesn’t mean I’m close to G-d. Vayikra always comes between Purim and Pesach. The Gemarah says that we go from redemption (Purim) to redemption (Pesach). We need redemption on two levels. First, knowing that Jews are here forever and G-d is here forever and everything holy is here forever and loving people is forever and the Torah is here forever and ever. Then there is one more level, just knowing that no one is master without G-d. So on Purim, as I celebrate my eternity it will give me the strength to celebrate Pesach with the utmost freedom, without any master over me. I shall be only a servant of G-d. On Purim, I am redeemed from the slavery of time, I celebrate that we yiddelach are here forever. On Pesach, I am redeemed from the slavery of civilization, of ideas. Freed from the people’s ideas of me, even of my own ideas. On Purim – what is shining into me is that I’m a Jew. Pesach- what is shining into me is that I’m a servant to G-d. When these two concepts are mamesh alive in me, I begin to taste closeness. What happens to you are serving G-d for real? You don’t hear your voice via anybody else’s voice, even via the biggest tzaddik’s voice, or even your own father. If I hear G-ds voice via my father, or I’ll hear the voice via […]

Reb Shlomo, z”l, on Vayikra

The Essence Of Hashem

The Medrash says that when G-d spoke to Avraham, G-d’s voice sounded like his own voice. But when G-d spoke to Yitzchak, it was the voice of Avraham, and when He spoke to Ya’akov, it was the voice of Yitzchak. When He spoke to Moshe, it was the voice of Amram his father. But here, in Vayikra, something changes. Vayikra el Moshe – he heard G-d’s voice but this time it didn’t sound like his father. Moshe began to hear his own voice as well.

Why suddenly here, now in the beginning of Vayikra? Open your hearts in the deepest depths.

Everybody knows that Bereishis is the book of creation. G-d created the world, He created it hidden. In Shmos G-d took us out of Egypt and gave us the Torah. Vayikra is something else. Vayikra is sefer avoda, it’s about reaching beyond yourself through the service of G-d.

What does Avodas Hashem mean? It is possible to know every word of the Torah. It is possible to do everything right, but you are still not a servant of G-d. You’re a fine person, you do everything right, but a servant of G-d is something else. Who is a servant of G-d? Service of G-d begins with korbanos, sacrifices, being close to G-d. Take husband and wife. They are very correct to each other, they are always good to each other, treat each other with respect but they are not close to each other. There are parents who do everything for their children, sweet and cute, but they are not close. I can even sit in paradise because I did everything right, and yet it doesn’t mean I’m close to G-d.

Vayikra always comes between Purim and Pesach. The Gemarah says that we go from redemption (Purim) to redemption (Pesach). We need redemption on two levels. First, knowing that Jews are here forever and G-d is here forever and everything holy is here forever and loving people is forever and the Torah is here forever and ever.

Then there is one more level, just knowing that no one is master without G-d.

So on Purim, as I celebrate my eternity it will give me the strength to celebrate Pesach with the utmost freedom, without any master over me. I shall be only a servant of G-d. On Purim, I am redeemed from the slavery of time, I celebrate that we yiddelach are here forever. On Pesach, I am redeemed from the slavery of civilization, of ideas. Freed from the people’s ideas of me, even of my own ideas.

On Purim – what is shining into me is that I’m a Jew. Pesach- what is shining into me is that I’m a servant to G-d.

When these two concepts are mamesh alive in me, I begin to taste closeness.

What happens to you are serving G-d for real? You don’t hear your voice via anybody else’s voice, even via the biggest tzaddik’s voice, or even your own father. If I hear G-ds voice via my

father, or I’ll hear the voice via the Lubavitcher Rebbe it’s very holy, but is this avoda? It’s not avoda yet. Being close means it is mamesh my own voice. I don’t mean physically my voice or your voice… I mean something something deep inside of me.

You see what it is, what Moshe Rabbeinu knows about G-d… gevalt. Moshe Rabbeinu stood on Mount Sinai, he knows everything. And yet Moshe Rabbeinu was sure that his mission has ended. He knows that everything about the Mishkan has to do with Ahron HaKohen… so he in a certain sense, stayed away. Therefore our parsha begins with the words Vayikra el Moshe. Something happened to him. He hears a voice, which no one else could here. ‘You think you are done? Could it be that you are only now beginning’.

On a related subject, I want you to know something awesome – the only place where it says veahavta lereyacha kamocha (love your neighbor as yourself) is in the book of Vayikra. Reyacha means whoever is your neighbor at any given moment. So as much as you think you are done and have finished your task, there is always someone next to you to begin loving. I heard from Reb Shmuel of Lubavitch something awesome. He heard from old chassidim that whenever the Heilige Ba’al Shem met a new person, he was mamesh shivering. Literally shivering. They asked him “Heilige Rebbe, why are you shivering?”

“Simple. At the moment I meet each new person I mamesh have to love them”.