Thursday, March 15, 2012
And so if this is the case then how will we know how to observe the practical mitzvot?
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi explains that in the future there will be no lapses of memory. Once we learn something, it will be imprinted in our memory forever. Memory loss is a manifestation of impurity, which will evaporate when Moshiach comes. Furthermore, any memories that we might have lost before Moshiach comes will be restored to us. Therefore, we won't need to dedicate as much time to memorizing the details of the Law, and will be able to spend the bulk of our time studying the inner dimensions of Torah.
Additionally, in the Messianic era we will be granted an extra level of understanding and from our study of the Torah's mystical dimensions, we will be able to infer all the practical laws of Jewish observance.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe adds that when Moshiach will come our evil inclination will be removed, and our nature and instincts will be transformed. Just a a young child instinctively draws his hand away from fire, we will have a natural aversion to those things forbidden by the Torah, and a natural inclination to do the things the Torah requires.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
In response to a man who was troubled and downcast because of his many debts, the Rebbe wrote that his biggest trouble was his lack of bitachon in G-d, for that is the key to everything. The Rebbe encouraged the man to toil in strengthening his belief that even if there seems to be no way for matters to work out, he should nevertheless trust in G-d - for G-d works above nature, and thus all can be good.
Reb Shaul Ber Kobakov, a successful lumber merchant from the city of Minsk, was one of the followers of the 4th Chabad Rebbe the Rebbe Maharash (and later of the Rebbe Rashab). Once, when on a business trip, as he waited on the railway platform, he heard an announcement that his train would be delayed, so he decided to wash his hands and pray the evening prayer of Aravit. Another Jewish merchant who was also there and knowing that Reb Shaul Ber was not one to rush through his prayers, went over to him and warned him that his train would probably arrive before he finished the amidah prayer.
"That's of no interest to me," replied the Reb Shaul Ber. "Now is the time for Aravit, so now i will pray."
While he stood in a quiet corner and prayed for a full hour, the train came and left. When he finished, he waited for the next train and repeated to the other merchant that when it was time to pray nothing mattered to him, even his business.
Just then the next train clattered to a halt, but before the Reb Shaul Ber climbed on, whom did he see, stepping down from the train? It was none other than the owner of the forests to whom he was about to travel! That man came over and greeted him, explaining that he had waited for him at his station as they had planned, but when Reb Shaul Ber had not shown up, he had decided to travel to see him.
From this Reb Shaul Ber understood that he must be desperate to sell his forests, and was thus able to strike a good bargain
How was it possible that after all the miracles that the Jews witnessed, like the manna from heaven, the splitting of the sea and having heard the voice of G-d at Sinai, could they create a Golden Calf and turn to idolatry? It seemed that any likelihood of such a thing happening was most certainly out of the question. Nobody would believe that a People so religiously convinced could make such a turn around.
But time and again this is the story of human history, the most unexpected, the unthinkable DOES happen.
And but when that does happen, what should we make of it?
Well, once in the throes of dismal failure and disappointment, we can suddenly realize a new dimension that was impossible before. The Talmud explains the inexplicable about the golden calf that it was to give an opportunity to do Teshuva. G-d allowed this to come to bring awareness for future generations that one should never give up the belief that change and repentance is still possible.
Sometimes great unexpected tragedy occurs (G-d forbid), for it serves as an instrument later in creating within us a drive to do something that would truly change our lives. Somehow we could never have come to this thru normal circumstances.
G-d gives us difficult challenges that at the time make no sense. We search in vain only to realize later that this propelled us to a new level in achieving something we would other wise never do.
As the Rebbe says, "We have the power to transform pain into action and tears into growth".