3 Kislev 5772
Mesirut Nefesh – What is it?
Daniel, 29 Tishrei 5772
Abba, Abba, Abba. What else is there to tell? Always, I think, what else is there to tell? How much we speak and we speak; how much the autistic children have spoken over the years. Seventeen years, eighteen years, we’re speaking and speaking about the geulah. We’ve begged and pleaded with Am Yisrael to do teshuvah, to leave the Eigel Hazahav, to throw him away in the garbage, to walk in the way of Hashem, to leave the plastic Judaism, to leave the Judaism-in-costume.
Now, to change direction, to direct the heart, the soul, the thoughts and desires to HKB”H, to the Torah, to mitzvot, to kedushah, to modesty, to family, and to take out all the gashmiut, the toys and the nonsense of this temporal world.
Now. Now, you can still change, you can still do teshuvah, but in a little bit, we will hear the redemption shofar’s call. The gates of teshuvah will be locked and it will be impossible to change oneself. The Olam Hazeh will disappear with all the evildoers and only he who lives in kedushah will be able to go out from the Mitzrayim of Olam Hazeh, and to enter into the Third Beit Hamikdash. Don’t return to the mistake of the millions of Jews who didn’t leave Mitzrayim, of those who died in the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, of those who went in the path of the Haskalah Movement before the terrible Shoah and etc. You can’t say, “I didn’t hear, I didn’t know.”
How is it possible? How is it possible to continue to write? I don’t know what more it is possible to write, but, perhaps, nevertheless, we will speak about the most important point and that is faith and trust in Hashem. Faith and trust in Hashem - without this, there’s nothing. Without this, there’s no Torah; without this, there are no mitzvot; without this, there is no future, there’s nothing for which to live.
A Jew is naturally born with faith and trust in Hashem. It’s part of his neshamah, to know that Hashem is One and His name is One, that Hashem is omnipotent, that Hashem is the Master of the World, that Hashem created us and all the worlds and He rules over everything. He knows the thoughts of every person in the world. He knows the feelings of every person in the world. He leads every Jew and also, gentile, to the directions that He designs for their sakes and for their good - to every person in the world. Something amazing! And He is omnipotent, He is the Creator, He is the Truth, and we, all of us, are His creations. We are His children.
To be a Jew with trust and faith in Hashem, this is a very, very difficult thing. When a person is born into this world, he grows up, he learns to eat, to walk, to run, to ride a bicycle, to feel this world, but he doesn’t usually learn to sense himself - the neshamah that’s inside him - the dimension that we don’t see. But, with much perception, we can feel the neshamah which is a spiritual thing, eternal. [Morning Blessings: “My G-d, the soul You placed within me is pure. You created it, You fashioned it, You breathed it into me, You safeguard it within me, and eventually You will take it from me, and restore it to me in Time to Come.”]
The Jew needs to feel this. A man who is very involved in this world doesn’t feel it. He feels Olam Hazeh, all the surrounding things that bring us superficial amusement and happiness, things tasty to eat, ice cream, chocolates, cakes, good food with all types of meat, vegetables and various types of wine.
A man who is very involved with this world, and loves it, and the pleasures of this world are his goal, is not able to feel his neshamah. And in order to feel his neshamah, he needs to reduce the importance of Olam Hazeh, and to make use of this world in order to serve Hashem and not the Eigel Hazahav. Because the Olam Hazeh is the klipah that is stuck on, something rough, and when it is taken off of this world - this klipah is removed – then, he will have the sensitivity to feel internally his eternal Jewish neshamah, to feel the direct connection of every Jewish neshamah with HKB”H. And this is the delight that is over and above everything in this world. And it brings us to true happiness. When a man reveals the truth, draws close to HKB”H, this is the peak of the enjoyment.
How do we arrive to this? First of all, to reduce this world as much as is possible, to pray, to do mitzvot, to learn Torah, to make efforts to be a Jew according to the Torah. But, the basis of all Torah learning and all the mitzvot is trust and faith in Hashem, and together it will bring us to love Hashem. And when the person comes to feel his neshamah, and he ties his neshamah to the Torah, then he can feel the Creator of the World, and this is the most wonderful feeling. And when Mashiach Tzidkeinu will come, we will feel this every day, moment to moment, but at a much higher level, and there won't be a yetzer harah to bother us, and there will be for us possibilities to ascend and ascend and ascend.
In our world today, the Jew needs mesirut nefesh to reach the height of full trust in HKB"H, and he is certain that no matter what happens to him, it's for his good. He is sure that Hashem created him for a specific purpose and for the sake of reaching this goal, HKB"H gives all kinds of trials that are very difficult for us and we need to withstand them. If we withstand them, this is called mesirut nefesh. We are ready at any price, not to leave what we know is the truth and it doesn't matter if it's because of, for example, women who go with scarves, shawls and aprons (*) and long and wide skirts, and everyone laughs at them, but they do it in mesirut nefesh. ["Because for you we are slain all day long." See Sefer Hassidim] Because they know that this is modesty. They know that the great rabbis from previously, like the Chofetz Chaim [See original for reference] the Chatam Sofer [See original for reference] HaRav Sonnenfeld and many other rabbis said that a woman needs to be modest and needs a kerchief for a head covering [See original for reference] and to wear a scarf, shawl and etc. and there are pictures and photographs that confirm this.
In Shamayim, it's clear that the truly righteous were those who were also modest, and in this world, modesty is the basis of true Judaism, and the mitzvot of modesty for women are the most important. And they are ready to receive laughter and to suffer humiliation and despite everything, and in mesirut nefesh for the sake of Heaven, not to leave it. ["In the merit of the righteous women our fathers were redeemed from Mitzrayim, and in their merit in the future we will be redeemed." Yalkut Shimoni...]
An avreich who sits in mesirut nefesh and learns day and night is investing his neshamah in learning. When other avreichim are already working and bringing more salary, etc and etc., he's not ready to leave his way of life, with his Jewish dress, with his beard and long peyot, not ready to leave the externals of a true Jew and the internals of true Torah learning, not ready to leave it and this is mesirut nefesh. It's mesirut nefesh to be a Jew, even if they laugh about righteousness, holiness and his learning. Even if Jews like him - Jews who appear like him - laugh at him, he is not ready to leave his way. This is his mesirut nefesh.
Q. Is it not too extreme? After all, chazal said that this way is suitable only for individuals [See original for reference] and additionally, how is it possible to live on an avreich's salary of 1000 sheqels?
A. Not everyone needs to sit and learn all day, it's possible also to work, but you need to learn regularly. Every Jew must live in holiness, must do the mitzvot more accurately, must make efforts to do Hashem's will all day and all night, must leave the Eigel Hazahav, even if the Eigel Hazahav is dressed in tzitzit and kippa, because it's avodah zarah. He must eat kosher, but true kosher and not in all the restaurants and pizzarias, that even if there is a hechsher, it's impossible to know how much it's truly kosher, because it's very complicated to be a mashgiach in a place like this and there is a very great danger to the kashrut. It's forbidden to us to copy the way of life of the gentiles and to put a hechsher on it, because the goyische style cancels out the hechsher.
Walk on the street, see the promiscuity of women with tight clothes, short skirts, foreign wigs and etc. See jesting among the Chareidim, see Jews eating in the street, Chareidi Jews. See behavior unsuitable for Chareidi Jews. See violence among Chareidim that is the worst sin. [See original for reference.]
Every true Jew who wants the truth, goes against the way of the Erev Rav despite that the Erev Rav currently rules; walks and appears like a true Jew; receives laughter; receives embarrassments, but maintains a strong stand and it is mesirut nefesh; fights to maintain the Jewish street clean from goyischkeit; to receive hits, this is mesirut nefesh. This is a generation that must battle over Yiddishkeit, over true Judaism and not over "k'ilu" Judaism.
And Hashem sends for the sake of this all kinds of strong neshamas that are not ready to give up. It doesn't matter what they do to them, they're not ready to give up on the Jewish way of life, the Judaism that all day the Jew is busy only with the will of Hashem and it doesn't weary him. It gives him his strength; it gives him his reason for being; it gives him all his pleasure, to do the will of Hashem, from the morning til the night and from the night until the morning, in every single step, in every way of dress, in all behavior in the street and behavior in the home, with all the mitzvot, and in the matter of faith and trust in Hashem, and above everything, love of Hashem. [See original for reference.]
Q. Are you still advising to store water and food in the house?
A. It's very worthwhile that there will be in the house water and food for two weeks, including batteries, etc. Like the Jews in Mitzrayim went out with a bit of food and it helped them last a long time, so we also will do a bit of hishtadlut and Hashem will help us. No need for more than two weeks. Except for this, we will all see amazing things, a great fear, just so we know, that what will bring us to the geulah, it will be our trust in Hashem.
(*) Scarf: Like a scarf over the headcovering that covers the head, the nape and shoulders, the neck and throat, that which the Daughters of Israel were accustomed to clothe when they went out from the house, the scarf does not cover the face.
Shawl: Like a coat, cape, hiding the shape of the body.
Apron/Smock: Like a regular apron or smock, indicative of modesty, origin of the dress is the religion ruling of Ezra the Sopher when he ascended to the land and saw the promiscuity that was in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Yonatan Eibshitz [Ye'arot Devash...] writes so a woman wearing an apron/smock in the public domain is protected against the Angel of Death, possessor of many eyes. Thus were clothed Jewish women until about 50 years ago.