THE PORTION OF BEHAR: On Mount Sinai

The question that all of the sages ask about this portion is: What is the connection between what we read at the end of last week’s portion to the incident on Mount Sinai that we read in this week’s portion of Behar. We know that everything in the Torah has a purpose and if the Torah chose to put !arashat Behar after the portion about blasphe"y there "ust be a reason. #f we can learn this connection we will be able to connect to the power of Bilah $a"avet %anet&ach 'death was swallowed up forever ( i""ortality) that was revealed on Mount Sinai when Moshe went up to receive the Ten *tterances. +ll of the deaf were able to hear all of the blind were able to see each person who had any kind of defect was healed as though he never had the Therefore whoever blasphe"es against defect. Then there "ust be a way that the ,reator says 0# don’t need 7ou. we can connect to this %ight. What # have is "ine and ca"e to "e +t the end of last week’s portion the because of "e.5 That person does not Torah spoke about the idea of a person deserve a thing for it is like he took all blasphe"ing against the ,reator. What of the %ight that he has and threw it is the connection to Mount Sinai- away like he does with everything else. Maybe we can understand it with the Therefore he is punished by not having .ohar’s e/planation in Tikuni" 01abbi any %ight. What we want to learn is the +bba began by saying 2The prayer of way to receive the %ight "eaning that the poor will envelop...’ There are three every day # do not "erit anything and # instances of prayer "entioned in our want to give thanks for what # have and writings. 3ne is with Moshe one is not cry about what # don’t have. #f we with 4avid and one is with the poor re"e"ber this then we will "erit to be person.5 The .ohar continues 0The above death and all that is connected to "ost i"portant of all is the prayer of the health and sustenance. +ll aspects of life will fall into place only if we poor.5 re"e"ber that we deserve nothing. Why- Because in prayer who truly receives what they are praying for- This is the first thing that we learn Why do so "any people pray and not about the portion about blasphe"ing. receive what they are praying for- 3nly The second thing is that it is so easy for a person who feels that they have us to open our "ouths and say 0Why nothing will receive that for which they did the %ight do this to "e- Why did # We "ust understand that are praying. 6ven if a person says 0heal lose this-5 "e and # will be healed5 and he is not there is a big picture. #n the beginning ill he "ust feel that he has no health when "y father $a1av was with his and he does not deserve health. We teacher 1abbi Brandwein his teacher "ust pray to be healthy for one "ore told hi" to do all kinds of things whose day that we should not be sick. We purpose $a1av did not understand. But "ust all be poor at least in our own finally $a1av understood that there is a "inds so that we think that we do not big picture so we shouldn’t ask why this happened and why that happened deserve anything that we have. every second. #nstead we should wait and not react i""ediately until we

1abbi +shlag e/plains in his introduction to Ten %u"inous 6"anations that nothing in this world is ours and we do not "erit anything even though it is written 0#f you worked for it and you find it believe.5 6ven after we worked we received fro" the %ight only in the way that 0you find it5 which is %ight that co"es not because we worked for it for working is not enough. That "eans that nothing is really ours even if we work for it which is within the fra"e of 0finding 5 and the "eaning of this finding is that it is not "ine. +nd in as "uch as it is true that when you find "oney in the "iddle of the "arketplace that was not "eant for anyone and did not drop out of your pocket co"es fro" the $eavens ( so the sa"e rules apply to "atters of this world.

"erit seeing the whole picture clearly. #t is so easy for us to open our "ouths and not only to the %ight but also to our friends to our parents and to our children. 6very ti"e so"ething happens our first reaction is 0Why is this happening- #t’s not "y fault.5 +nother reason that we need to be so careful of what we say is that Satan is waiting every "o"ent for us to say so"ething that he can use against us. +nd we need to learn that "ost of Satan’s power is not his own but rather that which we give hi" by what we say. 8ust as we saw with 1achel and 7a’acov: 7a’acov did not know that 1achel stole %avan’s 'her father) idols when he said that whoever stole his idols will not live. We "ust take responsibility for each and every world and each and every letter that co"es out of our "ouths. There is a Midrash that says: %ife and death are in the hands of the tongue. +nd the e/a"ple is given of a king who told his advisors to bring before hi" a particular person who" he suspected had stolen "oney fro" hi". The advisors went to bring hi". 3n the way he fell asleep. 4uring his slu"ber his body parts argued as to who controlled the body. $is legs said 0Without us he can’t co"e before the king and then he will die.5 $is hands said 0Without us he can’t drive the horses that will bring hi" to the king 5 and so continued the argu"ent between the body parts. 9inally the tongue spoke 06ven without legs it would be possible. 6ven without hands it would be possible. But if he gets there and # a" quiet he will certainly die.5 Then the rest of the body parts agreed 0%ife and death are in the hands of the tongue.5 #f we understand all of these lessons and control our "ouths and not allow our "ouths to control us and also understand that nothing is truly ours then and only then will we "erit Bilah $a"avet %anet&ach the co"ing of Mashiach and control death so that it does not $eaven forbid control us. Shabbat Shalo"

5 #t is understood that all of the" were spoken by $ashe" to Moshe on Mount Sinai@ there is therefore no need in "entioning it every ti"e. But this person sees his field wasted@ his vineyard wasted@ still he has to pay ta/es nevertheless he is silent. 7ou should not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest and the grapes that you had set aside for yourself you should not pick.hildren of #srael to receive the %ight of the Torah on Mount Sinai. #t will be a year of rest for the land. This stillness was also the secret which enabled the . $e is also certain that although he cannot see it now blessings and abundance will follow his actions as it is written 0# '$ashe") will send down "y blessings.5 1abbi 7ehuda +ryeh %ieb of Dur:#n his book Sfat 6"et? e/plains 0that the best thing for the body is that we should quiet it. #ts purpose is not si"ply to not work the field but rather to achieve the stillness when the desire to receive for the self alone the desire of the body is quiet. But the seventh year shall be a rest for the land a rest 'Sabbath) for $ashe". #s there a stronger "an-C 1abbi Dedalyah Shorr:#n his book 3r Dedalyahu? e/plains that it see"s fro" 1abbi 7it&chak’s e/planation that the "ost i"portant aspect of the keeping of the Sh’"itah is the fact that he is silent not necessarily that he is actually keeping the Sh’"itah.$is '$ashe"’s) angels strong warriors who follow his word. This is the secret of the Sh’"itah.ayikra <=:>(=? The Torah is describing the Sh’"itah every seventh year during which the land should not be worked but rather given a rest.. This is one such lesson.5:Tehili" >AB:<A? refers to those who keep the Sh’"itah. This quieting of the body is a lesson which is basic and i"portant for all spiritual actions..reator and to the actions that will reveal $is %ight in the world..5:. 7et the Torah when introducing any one of the spiritual actions which were revealed on Mount Sinai does not usually preface the state"ent with the words 0$ashe" spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai saying. +lthough there is a new spiritual lesson to be learned here nevertheless the power of this lesson is in feeling it and using this feeling and understanding throughout all of our spiritual work. $e goes on to e/plain why those who keep the Sh’"itah are referred to as 0angels5 and 0strong warriors5: 0*sually when a person does a spiritual action it is for a short period of ti"e so"eti"es for a day or "aybe a "onth. Why then does the Torah "ention it here when talking about Sh’"itah. + person who sees his fields barren and wasted nevertheless is co"pletely tranquil for he knows that through this he is revealing a tre"endous a"ount of %ight.. The receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai was not si"ply the acceptance of laws rather it was the achieve"ent of this ulti"ate level of body silence co"parable to what the Sh’"itah was suppose to bring about. +n obvious question that this section raises is: what does this section have to do with us todayThere is another question that the Midrash asks. To quiet the desires of the body the desire to receive for the self alone and therefore strengthen the soul. 9or every spiritual action "ust have with it so"e aspect of quieting of the desires of the body. +ny spiritual action that is done without so"e for" of quieting of the body’s desires cannot be considered a co"plete spiritual action.hildren of #srael and say to the" 2when you shall co"e to the land which # give to you the land should rest before $ashe". 9or they both necessitate a tre"endous level of spiritual develop"ent. They are not about the physical action at all rather about the tre"endous level of quieting all of the desires of the body and giving the"selves over co"pletely to the %ight of the .5:..1abbi 7ehuda Berg THE PORTION OF BEHAR: Quieting the Body This week’s portion begins with the verses: 0$ashe" spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai saying: speak to the .ayikra <=:<>? #t is written in the Mishnah:+vot >:>E?: 0Shi"on the son of 1abban Da"liel said 2all of "y life # have been a"ongst the Sages and 'fro" observing the") # have found no better thing for the body other than silence. We know that on Mount Sinai all of the Torah was given all of the different "it&vot 'spiritual actions) were enu"erated. This silence certainly does not refer to a person who is in reality bothered but is begrudgingly silent for this sort of person would not be referred to as an 0angel5. #t is truly an all( enco"passing and beautiful lesson...ayikra >:>? e/plains that the verse 0.. There are so"e lessons which reveal new lessons but there are others that are deeper for they enco"pass and reveal a new and deep e"otional lesson for our true spiritual develop"ent. 9or si/ years you will seed your field and for si/ years you will prune your vineyards and you will gather its crops. 7ou should not seed your field nor prune your vineyard. This is why Sh’"itah is "entioned with Mount Sinai for all of the spiritual actions which were revealed at Mount Sinai are dependant on the lesson of Sh’"itah. We can now understand why Sh’"itah and Mount Sinai are "entioned together.What is the great connection between Mount Sinai and Sh’"itah that necessitated the "ention of Mount Sinai before the discussion Sh’"itah1abbi 7it&chak:Midrash 1abbah . Shabbat Shalo" 1abbi Michael Berg . 1ather the silence which the verse refers to is a silence which is born of serenity and cal".

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