The Beauty of Nothing Ever Being Easy
The Gemara says that the most precious learning is ‘Girsa Deyankusa’. What does it mean that you learn like a child? It means that what you are learning is not really clear to you yet but something special is going on. I’m learning Gemara, I don’t really know it yet, I just know a little bit. But that little bit is so precious to me. When I know and understand everything I learn – it’s beautiful, but it stops being precious. The highest level in the world is that I completely know what I learn but its precious to me like it was before I knew it.
Now listen to this, imagine on the deepest, highest, most glorious level.
Lets assume I didn’t know I’m a Jew, and suddenly out of nowhere I find out I’m part of the Jewish people. Like Yitzchak from the Moshav. He comes to Israel, and he writes a letter to his mother in Athens saying ‘I love Israel so much, I don’t know why’. She writes him back saying ‘its crazy, I forgot to tell you that you are Jewish’. So he doesn’t know anything, and the first time he hears about Yerushalayim touches him so strong. Can he ever get back to that moment?
Let’s take my best example. I’m sitting on the subway on 72ndst. I see this absolute beautiful girl, and I catch her right before she goes through the door and I ask her what her name is. She tells me her name and her number. This name and this number is so precious to me, gevalt is it precious. I learn it 101 times. After that, BH I marry her and I have ten children. At this point in life, when you ask me what my wife’s number is, I will say it straight without thinking about. In all honesty, does it have the same preciousness like when I met her on the subway when she told me her number? The saddest thing in the world is that it doesn’t do anything anymore. The highest level in the world is, imagine you could reach that level that after you are married for 60 years and you have great grandchildren, your wife’s name or number is as precious like that moment when the door is being closed on 72nd st.
Here there is a mind-blowing Torah from the Ishbitzer.
When G-d sends Moshe to Pharoh, let my people go, it doesn’t go, strange. Pharoh doesn’t listen and yidden aren’t listening. Velo Sham’u El Moshe Mikotzer Ruach, they just didn’t understand it either. So the Ishbitzer says that when you hear G-d’s word but it is not shining in front of you – don’t think that nothing is happening. Something absolutely powerful is taking place. When we were slaves in Egypt and we weren’t free yet, G-d’s words could not reach us completely. G-d’s words are there but the words are in exile. What happens to you when you hear something absolutely beautiful but you are not really ready for it? Two things are happening to you. Your Pharoh is getting worse and worse every second. Your evil side becomes so strong because your evil side begins to feel so threatened that you might be jump into the holiness which you don’t yet understand but long for. And your holy side, your holy side is suddenly filled with longing. The more you feel and you know that you are not yet on the level – the more you realize how precious it is, how precious it is to be part of something beyond. You only feel how precious something is before you understand it.
And here I want you to open your hearts.
So many people go through so many struggles in their life until they reach the level where they are supposed to be. A struggle is a very holy and precious thing. All the pain and all the sufferings… you can’t reach the other side any other way. You don’t wake up in the morning and reach that which you are longing for. Take Anger. Its clear to anyone that you shouldn’t get angry every two minutes, it is clear to you like daylight but you cant help it. You might have to work on it your whole life until you reach the level that you don’t blow up on every stupid thing. But you see what it is, why do I need to go through the whole thing? G-d can just remove the struggle from me so I can just be holy, and sit and learn all day. Friends, this is the deepest, and this is what G-d is telling Moshe Rabbeinu in our parsha. The struggle you go through in order to rid yourself from the anger is the most precious thing in the world. Until you taste the preciousness of the unclarity – you might be able to leave Egypt but you will walk right back there.
Can you imagine how much Avraham Avinu went through until he reached the level of being Avraham Avinu? Some of us think that he was born a way out hippie, sharing everything with everyone. Sara was walking around with beeds, always happy to let all the people come to our house. Do you know what the holy Tzanser says? It would be blasphemy if I would say this. He says that Avraham Avinu was born with the stingiest soul in the world, and he mamesh worked his way up to give everything away. Avraham paved the way for you and I by constantly working his way up. You see what it is, anything which falls into my lap – I’m not giving over to my children. Whatever I work on like a dog is what I give over to my children. Avraham Yitzchak and Ya’akov worked so hard till they got there, spiritually, mentally divinely, they turned their kishkes over a million times a second, paved the way for us. The real ‘yerusha’ you leave for your children is not the few rubles you leave, what you leave for you children is what you went through, the way you purify your heart is what is left for your children. All those yidden who are just so to speak frum but they don’t work on it – their children don’t give a damn. Maybe their children will be frum because of a miracle or maybe someone else will turn them on.
I want you to open your hearts in the deepest way. So here G-d says to Moshe Rabbeinu ‘Va’era El Avraham Yitzchak VeYa’akaov Bekel Sha-dai Ushmi Hashem Lo Nodati Lahem’. Why was it so hard for Avraham Yitzchak and Ya’akov? Because when they received G-d’s word it wasn’t shining from all four corners. It wasn’t that clear that this is G-d’s word, but one thing was clear to them, that unless I turn over my kishkes a thousand times, a million times to do what G-d says – I wont really understand what He wants. This is what G-d was telling Moshe Rabbeinu in the beginning of our parsha. Do you know what is so precious about Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov? The preciousness was that I never told them something that was clear from one corner of the world to the other.
Sometimes the Ribbono shel Olam tells you something and it’s not clear yet, but its so precious, so precious. Sometimes G-d tells you something and it is so clear, it is very very beautiful but it has no preciousness. Was there ever a moment when things were clearer to us than on Mount Sinai? G-d spoke to us face to face, but what is the first thing G-d is telling us on Mount Sinai? ‘Remember, I took you out of Egypt’. You know what G-d was telling us? Don’t forget the preciousness which you felt when you knew there was one G-d when you were in Egypt but it wasn’t so clear yet. Gevalt is it precious.
So there is a level when G-d’s words are shining into my being. I’m so completely clear with what G-d wants of me, there is no problem. Then there is a level that I can’t do anything with G-d’s words, its just hanging inside of me.
This is the in-between, this is parshas Va’era.
When we eventually really get out of Egypt it means that my toenails are free. This Shabbos? Nothing of me is free, but deep deep inside I know there is such a thing as freedom. Inside of the inside I know there is something so precious.
Ushmi Hashem Lo Noda’ti Lahem, but gevalt did they know.