Saturday, August 27, 2011

Motzei Shabbos Special - Second Half of the Hurricane Irene Vort

Boruch Hashem, Shabbos went well in West Hempstead and we still have power! It was wonderful to see the kiddush Hashem of people here opening their homes to those who were required to leave their homes in the mandatory evacuation zones. As mentioned in the Friday vort, I heard a great shiur from Rabbi Mansour (available on linking water, Sukkos and Parshas Re'eh. Unfortnately, with all the pre-hurricane and erev shabbos preparations, I was unable to summarize the whole vort in the pre-Shabbos post. As such, I have attempted to provide more of the shiur in this vort. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the maggid shiur.

R' Mansour also mentioned another mitzva that Jews do which appeased the water from its complaints. In Parshas Vaykira it states - "al kol karbancha takriv melach" - all sacrifices must contain salt (which is derived from water).

The Zohar further links the water's complaint about being separated to another important concept - machlokes l'shem shamayim. People can get into arguments which are negative or detrimental. But there are also arguments which are l'shem shamayim - arguments for the sake of heaven. The Zohar states that the first argument l'shem shamayim was the water complaining about being separated from Hashem. This is hinted to in the word shamayim - it can be broken down to be sham mayim - there is water there which the waters on the earth wanted to rejoin.

Once the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, the Jews were expelled from the Land of Israel and were exiled to Babylonia. When they arrived in Bavel they sat on the banks of the river and lamented. This is recorded in the mizmor - Al Naharos Bavel. In this mizmor it is written "sham yashavnu, gam bachinu" - there we sat and we also cried. R' Mansour asked - what does it mean that we also cried? He explained that the water was crying because the connection which it had to Heaven was severed when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed. As such, the Jews joined the waters in crying for the destruction of the temple.

I would like to touch on one last point that R' Mansour made in this shiur about water. He mentioned that in Tishrei, Jews go to the water to do Tashlich. R' Mansour then mentioned a different angle on the age old question of why we go to the water to do Tashlich. He explained that the waves are constantly rising up before they come crashing down to the shore. The reason the waves rise up is that they aspire to be close to Hashem again like they were before the waters were split. When we go to the water to do Tashlich, we should be motivated by the water to want to rise up and be close to Hashem.

May we all be blessed with all the water and motivation we need as we stand on the precipice of Chodesh Elul.

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1 comment:

Yaakov said...

thanks for posting these divrei torah I missed them on shabbos but I had last year to make up for it.I plan on using it next week though