This shiur is dedicated l’iluy nishmas (for the elevation of the soul of) Yosef Leib b’R Shmaryahu Shapiro z”l whose yahrzeit is on the 23rd of Iyar.
00:00 – Torah 148. Yiras Hashem – respect for G-d. There are two types of respect: fear of punishment or consequences, and awe of Hashem’s greatness. Humility is even greater than yirah.
08:34 – Question: Are any other midos (spiritual qualities) interrelated in a similar way?
09:26 – Question: Can a person have yirah (fear) without ahava (love)? Response: In order for love to be wholesome and complete, it must be based on fear of consequences. The last two letters of the word “yirah” are the first two letters of the word “ahava“.
*11:07 – Torah 149. Going to bed early enables a person to get up at chatzos for the midnight tefilah . Saying the midnight prayer is as effective as giving a pidyon (dedicated charity offering). Explanation of what a pidyon is. “Charity saves from death.” “If a person has someone ill in their home, he should ask a Torah sage to pray for him.”
15:59 – When is chatzos (midnight)? Six hours (of sixty minutes each, not zmanios) after nightfall – tzeys hakokhavim – the appearance of stars – according to one’s location. And it extends until the completion of the second section of the night (about two hours later).
19:00 – Question: Why is the calculation of chatzos halayla done with sixty-minute hours and not zmanios hours? Response: In the Zohar HaKodesh, Parshas VaYakhel, Rabi Elazar b’Reb Shimon speaks about this. We do not calculate from Rabbeinu Tam motzei Shabbos (72 minutes after sunset), we calculate from the appearance of stars, which is the earliest one can end Shabbos in any particular geographical location.
20:02 – It’s good for a person to look up at the sky in the morning because it draws a wealth of daas (Torah-based wisdom) and kindness from Hashem.
21:14 – The ARIzal recommends that a person should live in a dwelling that has windows through which they can see the sky and therefore view the constant wonders of Hashem.
23:04 – Biographical note: Reb Michel Dorfman z”l often preferred to do pidyonos (special prayers for people in need) at chatzos.
24:28 – Torah 150. Yosef HaTzaddik and his trial in the house of Potifar. Menashe and Ephriam were destined to come forth from Osnas. The appearance of Yaakov Avinu to his son, Yosef, during that trial.
29:37 – Biographical note: When he was in Siberia, Reb Michel Dorfman z”l endured trials because as the head of a factory, many women prisoners were in his charge. He described how he pictured that Rebbe Nachman was standing next to him, encouraging him to stay strong. He would get up before dawn to cry to Hashem in the snow-covered forest.
31:30 – Question on Torah 149: Isn’t “mishpat” justice? Explanation of kabbalistic relationships between midos and how sometimes mishpat is an aspect of rachamim (mercy).
32:33 – Torah 151. A segulah (mystical remedy) for bearing and establishing children, or to help a child recover from illness, is for both the husband and the wife to say the section of the Torah “Uva Roshei Chodsheyhem” – “And on your new moons you shall present a burnt-offering to Hashem…” (BeMidbar/Numbers 28:11). The letter “vuv” corresponds to “ruach” and the life energy in all things. Diphtheria is a disease that relates to the lessening of the moon. Rosh Chodesh Nissan and the completion of the mishkan.
45:35 – Rav Nasan z”l brings six chairs to Rebbe Nachman and is blessed with six children.
46:38 – Note about Shavuos: when a person brings a gift to a tzaddik, it’s as if he brought bikurim (first fruits offering) in the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple). Heard from Rav Nachman Burstein z”l, that when Rav Avraham Sternhartz (Kochav-Lev) z”l came to Yerushalayim, Rav Shlomo Vechsler z”l used to bring him a fruit every day as “bikkurim“.
47:58 – Torah 152. The tzaddik is compared to the trunk of a tree and his students to branches. The meraglim (spies) were told to look for a tree in Eretz Yisrael, meaning, a tzaddik. Obstacles in serving Hashem is achieved through mesiras nefesh – self sacrifice.
55:20 – Rabban Gamliel set up a guard at the entrance of the Beis Medrash (hall of Torah study) to keep out the unworthy, but when the guard was finally removed, hundreds flocked in. (Talmud Berachot 28a).