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Farbrengen Chai Elul 5778 - Rabbi Pinye Korf

Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? Delivery and Returns see our delivery rates and policies thinking of returning an item? See our Returns Policy. Visit our Help Pages. Audible Download Audio Books. Similarly, our divine service must be strong enough for it to continue independently without requiring influence from other people. In a deeper sense, the above can also refer to the relationship between our bodies and our souls. Our bodies should be permeated with the light of Torah to the extent that their light rises up independently, i.

The Talmud tells us about a person who trained his body so that when he was saying the prayer of Modim, his body bowed down as a natural response. He did not have to think about it and command his body to act; it was a reflex reaction. Similarly, our divine service should be so much a part of our nature, that independently, our bodies should be prompted to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos. This concept also applies in our relationship with others.

Our efforts should be directed, not only to illuminating their souls with the light of the Torah and its mitzvos, but also to teaching them to shine independently. Even when they no longer receive direct influence from their teacher, they must continue to generate light. We see this concept reflected even in the educational practices of the world at large.

Parents educate their children to live a righteous and moral life. Their ultimate goal, however, is that their children will live a moral lifestyle independently without adult guidance, raising their own family and supporting them. Indeed, this approach is so much a part of nature that it is even manifest in the animal kingdom. Offspring are protected and fed until they are trained to protect and feed their own family.

And this is the responsibility of every teacher: To teach their students until the students' souls are aroused to the extent that they too can serve as mashpi'im and kindle their own set of seven candles.

Even after our lives are illuminated with the Torah and its mitzvos, and furthermore, we have become capable of independently generating such light, we cannot continue on a plateau. Rather we must strive to rise upward, "going from strength to strength. This is accomplished by kindling "the lamp of G-d, the soul of man," through "The candle of mitzvah and the light of Torah. Just like the light of the Menorah shined forth from the Beis HaMikdash into the outside world, so too the light of our souls must affect all of our worldly and mundane activities.

Although they are not directly concerned with the Torah and its mitzvos, they should also permeated with the goal of bringing to fulfillment the G-dly purpose for this world. There is an order in which these two services should be performed. Before we reach out to others, we must first kindle the light of our own souls and make them a fit dwelling for G-d's presence. After this is accomplished, we can devote ourselves to the task of creating a dwelling place for G-d in the world at large. This sequence is alluded to in the order of the subjects discussed in this week's parshah.

The kindling of the Menorah is mentioned first and then the journeys of the Jewish people. Only after the souls of the Jews have been illuminated can our people accomplish the purpose intended in their journeys through the world.

Similarly, our divine service must be so much a part of our nature that our bodies serve G-d independently. The ultimate expression of this rung comes in the second phase of divine service mentioned above, when a person's service is carried out within the world at large. As long as a person is involved directly in the sphere of the Torah and its mitzvos, he is motivated by the holiness of the Torah. The true challenge is when one is outside the parameters of holiness.


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And the guidance for such endeavors comes from this week's Torah reading which relates that the Jewish people's journeys followed the Aron, the Holy Ark. In a personal sense, this means that a person's motivations must not stem from his own desires. He must follow the Aron, go wherever G-d is leading him. This level of total self-nullification is the ultimate expression of the concept of the body serving G-d independently. Furthermore, as mentioned above, our divine service must be constantly "rising upward," proceeding forward with constant growth.

Although everyone has a tendency to desire to relax and resist further change and growth, when a person "follows the Aron," G-d's desire which includes a will for constant growth has become his. To apply the above in our own divine service: Every individual goes through periods in his life when both of the phases of divine service mentioned above apply: We undergo periods of education when our primary task is to light our candle until it burns independently and shines forth powerful light. And we have times when we "journey forth" into the world at large, traveling to different locals because of our jobs, or because of different factors in the world at large.

We must realize that these journeys are controlled by Divine Providence. The Baal Shem Tov teaches that the 42 journeys of the Jewish people in the desert are a paradigm followed by each and every person throughout his life. Our lives are characterized by journeys and resting periods. This is especially applicable in our generation where so many people have fled or travelled from country to country. This week's parshah teaches us that we must realize that these journeys -- their length and the interim between them -- are all determined by G-d's will.

As it is written Tehillim Rather, it is G-d who is leading him from place to place. The real purpose for his move is to spread G-dliness in that place. The Previous Rebbe explains that, just as we spend so much time and effort looking for our financial sustenance, so too we must concentrate all our efforts to find our spiritual sustenance.

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In an ultimate sense, what is this sustenance? To play our part in transforming this world into a dwelling place of G-d. This is also what the verse means "and He shall desire his path. If a person seeks the way of Torah and Mitzvos, spiritual sustenance, he can be assured that G-d "will desire his path" -- because it really is His G-d's path. Consequently G-d will grant to him his material needs in a manner that transcends the natural order. To take this concept one step further: The term "His way" can be interpreted as referring to G-d's way, but also to the individual way chosen by the person himself.

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As explained above, ideally our bodies should serve G-d independently. Correspondently, in the present context, G-d's way should really be our personal way; it should be what we desire as well. And this will call forth a similar response on G-d's part. Our desires for our material needs will be accepted by Him and become His desires, as it were. While the Jewish people journeyed through the desert, it was clearly evident that every step they took was directed by G-d's will.

At present, by contrast, concentrated thought and divine service are necessary before one comes to the realization that all of our footsteps are decided by G-d. On the other hand, there is an advantage in our generation, for we can reach this understanding independently without being compelled to come to this realization by the presence of the cloud of G-d leading the way. To bring this concept into practical terms: When we prepare ourselves to go on a journey, we must have two opposing approaches: We should not rely on miracles and therefore, must prepare ourselves as would any other responsible individual.

Simultaneously, however, we must also realize that in reality it is G-d who is leading us. And there is no contradiction between these two approaches: G-d's desire which leads a person to a particular place, for a spiritual purpose, enclothes itself within the framework of the natural world. And that is why a person feels various different motivating factors for any journey he undertakes. Accordingly, it is proper for a person to undertake all the preparations for the journey predicated by responsible behavior, for this is also G-d's desire.

And if a person conducts himself in such a manner, his life becomes a fit vessel for G-d's Hashgachah Protis to become manifest within.

Just as G-d's cloud destroyed all the snakes and scorpions in the desert and prepared a smooth and level path on which the Jews could travel, so too, G-d will remove any obstacles that stand in a person's way. The first Mishnah of that chapter states: That which is honorable to himself and brings him honor from man.