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Even Shlomo - Va’era


I want to say a gevalt thing. The Gemara says that when you learn when you are young - and everyone knows it doesn’t mean young in years - but it’s like I make myself, that today I’m learning for the first time. This learning is like learning on a new page. Learning old is already like learning on a page that was written with two thousand words. It has millions of meanings, but right now let me tell you something.

What does it mean that you learn like a child? It means it’s not really clear to me yet. I’m learning the Gemara but I don’t really know it yet, I just know a little bit. But that little bit is so precious.

When I know everything it’s beautiful. But it stops being precious. The highest level in the world is that I know it completely but its precious to me like my children..

Now imagine on the deepest, highest, most glorious level:

Let’s assume I didn’t know I’m a Jew, and suddenly, 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 back saying, “Its crazy. I forgot to tell you that you are Jewish”. It's the craziest thing! So he doesn’t know anything, and the first time he hears about Yerushalayim… gevalt. You see, we are getting into it. We have to first talk a hundred times around it until we get into it.

My best example: I’m sitting on the subway on 72nd St. I see on the subway this absolutely beautiful girl and I just catch her before she goes through the door. I ask her what’s her name and 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, mamesh 101 times. After that, Baruch Hashem I marry her and I have ten children. If today you will ask me ‘can you give your wife’s number’, I will say it straight, without even thinking about it. But 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 today, it doesn’t do anything. The highest level in the world is, imagine you could reach that level… imagine, that you are married for sixty years and you have great grandchildren, but his 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. We were always learning that we Jews were slaves in Egypt, and meitzar is mitzrayim. The Egyptians were making us so small, taking away our faculties, reducing us to the lowest level there is. And then G-d is taking us out of Egypt. The Ishbitzer puts in a new kind of exodus from Egypt. Maybe this was always clear to you but it wasn’t always clear to me.

The craziest thing is that G-d sends Moshe to Pharoh to let my people go, and it doesn’t work. And also when it comes to Yidden, Velo Sham’u El Moshe Mikotzer Ruach - they just didn’t understand it either. So this is a new kind of learning: that you hear G-d’s word but it is not shining. It is there - but it’s not shining. Everybody in their right mind understands that this is the same thing. Because we were slave in Egypt and we weren’t free yet, G-d’s words could not reach us completely. Its there but the word is in exile, G-d word is also in exile.

Remember once I told that during Yom Kippur of 1973, during that Yom Kippur, ten kids who I met in san Francisco came up to my shul to say good bye to me. They got involved with this swami and they are going to India. The plane to India goes once in a hundred years, so they have to go on Yom Kippur morning to India. It was crazy, sometimes you have patience, ‘what do you mean, they are going to serve G-d’. But how crazy can you be? You are a Jew! It’s Yom Kippur! You have to go to India on Yom Kippur? It’s like I want to give you a kiss, but first I want to throw a little garbage over your face.

Anyway, I played it cool. Most of the kids I didn’t really know. But this one girl, Leah’le, I couldn’t help it. Usually I try to be patient but it was Yom Kippur, I grabbed her by her neck and I said to her, ‘I’ll see you on the corner’. I yelled at her – I don’t know if I ever yelled like that my whole life. I said ‘Leah’le, I bless you that my voice should haunt you wherever you are. You’re a daughter of four holy mothers. Where are you going? This is not what G-d wants of you. Don’t tell me stories that you want to serve G-d. If you want to serve, G-d come back to shul with me. G-d will let you know what he wants you to do. I yelled at her You are lying, lying to yourself, lying to G-d’.. Craziest thing is a few months later she is back. She calls me up and she says ‘your voice was haunting me, I couldn’t get it out of me’. Obviously I wasn’t talking to her in my own private name; there are moments when you have the right to speak in in the name of all of Israel. But she did go to India, you know what that means? My words to her were in exile, it didn’t reach her then. Okay, eventually it reached her. But you know hat it is?

Listen to this, sweetest friends: Hear what the Ishbitzer says.

What happens to you when you hear something absolutely beautiful but you are not really ready for it, when you are not really on the level yet? Two things are happening to you. Your evil side becomes so strong because your evil side feels so threatened. Your Pharoh, Pharoh is getting worse and worse and worse every second. But also your holy side, your holy side is suddenly filled with longing. And the more you feel and you know that you are not on the level yet, the more you realize how precious it is, how special it is (to just be part of something so exalted, without understanding it yet).

Now listen to this.

There is a pasuk that says Ki Mitizyon Teizte Torah Ud’var Hashem Miyerushalayim. So this is a very, very strong Torah from the Ishbitzer; it’s good to remember. Isn’t Torah also G-ds word? How can you divide this pasuk? G-d’s word is from Yerushalayim but the Torah is from Tzion? So the Ishbitzer says like this. What is the difference between learning Torah and learning G-d’s word? The difference is like this. Torah is that when I’m learning - it’s clear to me that I have to do it. It’s no trouble doing it; I’ll do it without trouble - that’s called Torah. I know what to do when the Torah says so. I don’t mean ‘got to’ on a fork and knife level… its just that I have to. Dvar Hashem? The word of G-d is so clear to me that I have no trouble doing it. When I hear the word of G-d, it is clear to me in a billion ways. So it says Ki Mitizyon Teizte Torah, out of the depths of my heart is coming the Torah, but that the Torah should shine to me so clearly, mamesh its clear to me that its G-d word? This is only in Yerushalayim.

You see what it is, how could we make the golden calf? There was already Torah, but it wasn’t G-d’s word yet? U’Dvar Hashem Miyerushalayim. When Mashiach is coming, G-d’s word will be so clear to me.

Sometimes you do something and you don’t know what you are doing yet. The Ishbitzer says a gevalt Torah. If you do something, you know you have to do it but it’s not clear to you – it’s called a mitzvah. When you do something and its mamesh shining before you, it’s called Torah… gevalt. Ki Ner Mitzvah veTorah Ohr.

Okay, here I want to learn from inside, now something else.

If my whole life isn’t yet really to be a vessel for G-d’s word, I know I have to do it; I will do it Be’ezer Hashem. I’m not on the level yet... I have to make myself small before G-d; mamesh annihilate myself. I have to annihilate myself. What do I know?

So many people go through so many struggles in their life till they reach the level where they are supposed to be. A struggle is very, very holy; very, very precious. All the pain all the sufferings… you cant reach there in another way. You don’t wake up in the morning and are suddenly there. Its clear to you that you shouldn’t get angry every two minutes, it’s clear to you like daylight but you can’t help it. You might have to work all your life, all your life, until you reach the level that you don’t blow up on every stupid thing. So that struggling is very, very precious.

You know what it is, unless that struggling will shine into you all your life. Even after your each the level that you are clear, clear without struggling, clear without pain is not clear because the next day I can blow up again. But if it’s clear to me that that gevalt, I went through so much till I got here… you are not the same.

Approximately in the 1840, 1850, there was a Jew in Lemberg and he denounced all the great Rebbes, all the holy tzaddikim that they are a danger to young people. He would tell the authorities that they are dreamers, that they tell young people to dream about the messiah, and about G-d’s kingdom and they are a danger to mankind. So the craziest thing is, at that time Reb Mendele Riminover was in Lemberg in the Beis Medrash and all the holy people were with him. The police came and arrested them. The Ropshitzer was the sharpest of them all. He saw the police coming and jumped out of the window because he thought that at least one of them had to be outside. The Ropshitzer made himself strong; walked over to the police the next day, and said that he wants to talk to the head of police. The Ropshitzer was mamesh so handsome, so shiny. The head of the police asked him ‘what do you want’. He said ‘ I heard you arrested all those rabbis, the dreamers’. ‘Yeah, we did right, they are terrible people’. So the Ropshitzer says ‘yeah? I’m one of them’. The Policeman says ‘what? You are one of them? If you are one of them - I will release them all right away’.

Anyway, this person was making trouble all time. They realized there must be one Rebbe who has to send him to another planet. So there was one Rebbe, the Heilige Reb Baruch Zvarsha. Reb Baruch Zvarsha was so holy; he called every Jew ‘tzaddik’. He was once with his horse driver, and he said to his horse driver ‘tzaddik, go left, tzaddik go right’. So the horse driver was so stupid. He says ‘Rebbe, you say that I’m a tzaddik, and the whole world says that you are tzaddik. I have a son and you have a daughter, lets marry them off’. So Reb Baruch Zvarhsa says ’listen, there are all kinds of tzaddikim. Your son has to marry his kind of a tzaddik, and my daughter has to marry this kind of a tzaddik’. But anyway, the real tzaddikim thought that if Reb Baruch Zvarsha can curse this person who is making so much trouble with the police, because he is mamesh top – all their tzaros would come to an end. So the holy Ropshitzer comes to Reb Barcuh Zvarsha, it’s a long story; I’m just giving you one version. The Ropshitzer says to him ‘Heilige Zvarsher, you have to curse this person’. ‘Ropshitzer Rav, come with me, come down with me to the cellar’. They go down to the cellar and there was a huge barrel of water. So he says to the Ropshitzer ‘these are the tears I have cried before G-d that I should never say anything bad about another person. Please don’t take it sway from me’. Gevalt… gevalt.

Can you imagine how much Avraham Avinu went through until he reached the level of Avraham Avinu? Some of us think that he was a way out hippie, he shared everything with everyone. And Sara was walking around with beads, always happy.. 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, stingiest soul in the world, and mamesh he worked his way up to give everything away. You see friends, anything which falls into my lap I’m not giving over to my children. Whatever I work on like a dog I give over to my children. Let me ask you something. Why are all yidden successors of Avraham Avinu? Because Avraham Avinu went through so much until he got there.

Yitzchak by nature was completely out of awe, he was basically just a playboy… just taking everything easy. But Yitzchak worked himself up…gevura mamesh… he worked himself up that every word second counts, every word counts, every thought counts. And Ya’akov is mamesh both. Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov worked so hard until they got there, spiritually, mentally divinely, turned their kishkes over a million times a second, paved the way for us, paved the way. I’m sure its clear to you. Whatever a person goes through mentally spiritually until they mamesh reach a certain level, they give it over to their children. 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. 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 know a lot of people, their parents are very frum and they don’t give a damn. And then there are some people, their parents are not so frum, but the little bit they have – they worked so hard on. Maybe they make Kiddush once a year….

When G-d says to Moshe Rabbeinu ‘Va’era El Avraham Yitzchak Veyakaov Bekel Sha-dai Ushmi Hashem Lo No’dati Lahem’. Here I want you to open your hearts in the deepest way. 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 here is G-d’s word and its all good, everything now is very clear to me. It was clear to me that gevalt do I have to turn over my kishkes a thousand times, a million times to do it. So the Ribbono shel Olam says to Moshe ‘I want you to know, Ushmi Hashem Lo Noda’ti Lahem’. You know what is so precious about Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov? I never told them something that was clear from one corner of the world to to the other. So he says ‘you know something, you want that I should give you a word and right away they should be out of Egypt – it should shine from one corner of the world to the other? It doesn’t go this way, it doesn’t go this way.

You know sweetest friends, imagine I learn something and right away I understand everything. I open the Rambam and its clear to me, I learn Tosfos and its clear to me. The old Bobover Rebbe said that when Mashiach is coming he will not be ashamed to go with his yeshiva to greet Mashiach. He won’t be ashamed with every Gemara in the closet to go and greet Mashiach. He said there is not a page in the whole library in the whole yeshiva which is not wet with tears… gevalt. He says ‘there is no ktzos hachosehan and Mishne lamelech which my talmidim don’t cry over’. I don’t mean crying like you think – I mean the deepest depths, crying because I want to understand it so much.

Now listen to this.

This parsha everybody knows is Yetzias Mitzrayim, but not only to get away from the Egyptians. To get out of Egypt is a secondary thing. The ten plagues – they weren’t so much for the Egyptians, they were mainly for us yidden. Because the ten plagues… each time we got a little bit out of Egypt. It was not just that we were slaves to Pharoh and had to work for him, mentally spiritually we were saves in Egypt. We were not on the level, we were not free people yet. We were just not on the level yet.

Sometimes the Ribbono shel Olam tells you something and it’s not clear yet, but its so precious, so precious. It is so precious. Sometimes G-d tells you something and it is so clear, it is very very beautiful but it has no preciousness. Now listen to his. When G-d speak to us on Mount Sinai, was there ever a moment when things were more clear to us than on Mount Sinai? G-d spoke to us face to face, and what is the first thing G-d says to us? ‘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 weren’t clear about it but you knew there was one G-d when you were in Egypt. Gevalt is it precious’.

Let me ask you something even deeper. Basically, Moshe is the one who is giving us the Torah, but why couldn’t G-d have had a board of directors going down to Egypt, talking to the yidden to prepare them to get out of Egypt and on that day we go out. Because Moshe Rabbeinu’s thing is the Torah, eh is the master of the Torah. It doesn’t go this way. If you want to give somebody the Torah, you have to start in Egypt, mamesh in Egypt. And why do you have to start in Egypt? Because it so precious, so precious.

Haben Yakir Li Ephraim, Ephraim were the ones who couldn’t wait cause they were so hungry, so hungry. They mamesh had a little vision that G-d is taking them out – it mamesh blew their minds.

Now listen to me, I just want to tell you this.

You know what blew my mind over this? How do we yidden know when G-d wants to tell us something, and this might be crazy. Whenever something new happens, whenever G-d speaks to a yid, the ‘other side’ picks it up and they get crazy. Obviously, G-d was about to give us back the Holy Land, you know who picked it up first? The other side, lets put six million in gas chambers first. Holiness doesn’t know what holiness is, the other side… gevalt do they know what holy is, can’t stand holiness. I have to tell you something crazy, there are some holy people here from Russia. When I was in Moscow for Simchas Torah, I had a lot of holy sefarim with me. The authorities asked me about them, and I said that these are my personal books, and I will be taking them out with me. I also had a ‘sod yesharim’ with me, from the Ishbitzer. Do you know that they mamesh threw themselves at this book, started tearing it apart… gevalt. It was mamesh ‘lehashmid velaharog’.

I want you to know something crazy. I was once coming out from Romania, had a lot of books. He didn’t say anything. He saw Mei Hashiloach, the same thing happened. He mamesh got crazy, started tearing the book up. Gevalt… it was worth it to come and see that these books are so holy that the samech mem mamesh can’t bear it.

Now he says, whenever the Ribbono shel Olam sends us a little word, for us yidden its ‘choilas ahava’, we get sick with longing… we get sick with longing. We are living in a world that most people don’t know anything about yiddishkeit, whatever they hear about yiddishkeit is still in exile by them. But for them - it’s so precious. Then you meet a yidele for whom it is already clear, but it has lost its preciousness, its not so precious anymore, and they don’t even learn from it. They don’t even learn from it because they need someone to make their word precious even after they know it. I want it to be precious after I know it. You know why some of us are so angry a little bit at the people in Israel, the people who sit there by the ‘shisel’? They took away the whole preciousness. There is a state of Israel and that’s it. The state of Israel began with Hertzl or the moment Weitzman or Ben-Gurion came to Israel. Its cute, we got it. Where are the two thousand years of crying for it? What happened to that?

I’ll tell you something crazy, crazy crazy. Two weeks before the Yom Kippur war, I was taking a cab from the Hilton to somewhere. The taxi driver had his girlfriend in the car. I was talking about something and I said the word ‘yidden’. She turns to me and says ‘I’m not Jewish, I’m an Israeli’. ‘You are not Jewish? What do you mean you are not Jewish? You are ashamed to be related to the 6 million Jews? You are ashamed to be related to people who went into the fire for G-d during the inquisition?’. She says ‘Ein li Shum Esek Itam, I have nothing to do with them’. Sometimes I have patience, sometime I don’t. It was Friday afternoon, and I just didn’t have the time. I told the taxi driver ‘do me a favor, stop the car because one of us are going out’. Either she is going out or I am going out, because I smelled Auschwitz from her. Not the Jewish side, the other side. The Germans wanted to wipe out all the Jews, she wants to wipe out all the Jews too. She doesn’t need Jews, she just needs Israelis’. I said to him ‘do me favor, I don’t have koach’. And he needed the money so I just told him ‘your getting on my nerves, drive me already, forget it’. A year later, min hashamayim, he was still a taxi driver in the Hilton. I meet him again, nebech, the saddest thing is he only has one foot. He says to me ‘you know something, my girlfriend and I were looking for you. Now I know I’m a Jew, gevalt am I a Jew. When I was out there in the war - I knew I am a Jew, not an Israeli’.

You know what it is, this preciousness.

Here I want you to know the deepest depths, I just want you to open your hearts. There is Torah and tefila. Torah is when I understand what I am learning. Tefila, praying is also saying words of the Torah, but I don’t understand it yet. I understand a little bit, I can read what it says, and gevalt is it precious to me. I want you to know, when we put on a tallis when we daven and we say ‘Ma Yekar Chasdecha Elokim’ because davening is so precious. You know why the Holy Temple is destroyed? The Holy Temple is the place of davening. What happened to us? Things stopped being precious to us, it wasn’t so precious anymore.

And here I want you to know something sweetest friends. When I know how precious every Jew is, I don’t hate them. When I know how precious every Jew is, I don’t hate them. Only if I don’t know how precious they are do I am judge them. You know something, when it comes to our children and how much we love them. If the whole world, the shechina and G-d would tell me they are bad, I still wouldn’t believe them because precious it the strongest thing in the world. You think knowledge is special? Precious…

And here I want you to know sweetest friends. When I learn, I don’t have to do it together. When yidden daven, it’s mamesh ten yidden together. You know what that means? Because I know the same thing you know - we are together? You’re a lawyer, I’m a lawyer, you’re a doctor I’m a doctor, your a stick broker, I’m a stock broker? No. When we have the same things which are precious to us, gevalt does it bring us close, gevalt is that close, gevalt.

I want to say something very special. When I know something - its very beautiful, I look at it. When I want to tell you how precious it is I close my eyes because preciousness doesn’t come from my head. When someone gets married the first thing is you cover the face of the bride. You know what that means? Mamesh let there be preciousness between us. Children when they are born, their eyes are close because they know how precious life is. Children are so precious, gevalt are they precious.

Now here I want you to know something, the deepest depths. On the deepest level, preciousness comes form Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov. This strength, that the Torah strikes something in us which makes us are how precious it is – this is what we inherited from our three fathers and four mothers. You know friends, its clear to me always, for us - Jewish children are so precious because of our mother Sara. Was there ever anybody in the world to whom a baby was more precious than to our mother Sara? How could it be?

I want you to know something, when the angels came to Avraham the said ‘Ayeh Sara Ishtecha, where is your wife? So he answered Hine Ba’ohel… and there are all kinds of Torahs. The Vorker says like this. The angels asked Avraham? What’s your wife about? She is turning over heaven and earth, everyone is talking about Sara, Where is she, what’s her level? Can you tell us something about her? Hina Ba’ohel, she is in the tent she is so hidden even I don’t know. She is beyond me. So I just want to add, preciousness..

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So I want to say this. Sara was the first one who knew how precious a Jewish baby is. You can only give over yiddishkeit when you give over to them how precious it is. So the angels asked Avraham, what does Sara know? Hine Ba’ohel. What do you when something is very precious? You hide it. So he says ‘she is the master of hiding’. When you kiss somebody and you close your eyes, you know what that means? It’s so precious. Shir hashirim begins ‘Yishakeni Mineshikos Pihu’. The first sign when you love somebody is not how much you know them, its how precious they are… how precious they are to you. So here Moshe Rabbeinu says to the Ribbono shel Olam ‘what going on here? You are giving me a message to the yidden and a message to Pharoh and its not working yet. The Ribbono shel Olam says ‘gevalt, Va’era El Avraham Yitzchak Veya’akaov Bekel Shakai Ushmi Hashem Lo Noda’ati Lahem. This is the first way a yid learns how precious something is. And also, the Ishbitzer says, you have to know, sadly enough, when G-d is telling us something – the other side gets word of it, the other side wants to tear up the yidden. Friends, I want you to know something. Imagine you visit somebody… not us but lets say the straight world, and you ask somebody ‘how are your children’. They will say ‘oh, you mean my Brad?’ (in a very sarcastic tone) Everybody feels comfortable. Imagine they would say ‘gevalt, they are so precious I cant even talk about them’ and they begin crying like mad while talking about their children, those who asked will feel uncomfortable, they wouldn’t know what to do.

When someone loves someone and they are not that precious to them, it’s okay. If someone says ‘I was in Israel, it was beautiful I went to he holy wall and I prayed and did some shopping around the shuk, it was beautiful. Then at night went to a cocktail with president Navon, it was very important’ have you ever heard people taking like this? This they can bear. Did you ever hear someone coming back from Israel saying ‘gevalt, Ribbono shel Olam - I was by the holy wall’, they get the creeps, they cant bear it.

Now listen to me, the deepest depths, and here I just want you to know one more thing. What is the highest level? The highest level is that after you have it, it is still so precious. And here I want you to blow your mind. Moshe Rabbeinu says to G-d ‘what is your name?’, G-d says ‘I will be what I will be’. I wouldn’t have the chutzpa to translate it in such a way. The Ribbono shel Olam says ‘do you know what I am all about? That even when you have it, it’s on the level like it will be. That preciousness. Ekyeh asher Ekyeh – I have it already, and its so precious. I have it and I don’t have it.

Sweetest friends, if Moshe Rabbeinu would come to yidden one and say ’listen yidden, I just discussed with Pharoh, you are free, from now on you are free’. Suddenly they will blow the shofar and everyone is free. Then Moshe Rabbeinu would say ‘okay, lets go to Israel’. Some would say ‘lets go to America, lets go to Canada, lets go to Australia. Do you know why we stuck together? Because it was so hard when we got out together. We got out, we were smelling freedom, we were smelling going out, and we didn’t go out. Imagine we are two thousand years in exile, we are completely assimilated. One day we got a letter from our uncle in Israel and he says ‘Israel belongs to the Jews, anybody interested in coming’? Not even five yidden would be there, gevalt how much we went through to get there’.

And here I want you to know something, I don’t want to say anything bad. This is on the level of prayer. Why was it so easy for some people to give back the Sinai? Why are there so many creeps in Israel who want to give back everything? I want to tell you something, everybody knows, you can’t give back Jerusalem because for two thousand years us ehrlich yidden say ‘Vesechezena Eineinu Beshuvcha Letizyon, Bonei Yerushalayim. If you would have only had the privilege of adding, ‘Bonei Sinai Shomron Veyerushalayim’, maybe we would be on the level that we don’t have to give back anything, but the preciousness of saying every day Bonei Yeruhsalayim, Vesechezna Einenu, paved the way that even the most far away cant help… Yerushalayim is precious. Sinai wasn’t precious. Shomron? Some day it’s a dream of Sharon. As much as it’s not true, it is not true. every millionth’l ounce of Israel is precious.

Now one more thing.

Let me ask you, after you take medicine, you jump out of bed. Imagine G-d forbid someone is very sick, deadly sick, the doctor comes to gives you three pills. And I already ordered tickets for this person to go to Bermuda for the weekend. I say chapnisht, doesn’t go so fast. Moshe Rabbeinu says ‘Ribbono Shel Olam, you told me to take the yidden out of Egypt’. Chapnisht, doesn’t go so fast. Medicine doesn’t work so fast.

Listen to this, the second thing we read in this parsha is ‘Eile Rashei Beis Avosam’, this is the story of Reuven, Shimon, Levi Moshe and Ahron. Now listen to this. What did we inherit form Avraham Yitzchak and Ya’akov? There were a lot of people who maybe believed in G-d before Avraham, but you know what the problem was? It wasn’t precious to them. If I can say in a nutshell, what’s the difference between Avraham and Noach? Noach also believed in G-d, but Rashi says ‘Ma’amain Veieno Ma’amain’. What is Ma’amin ve’eino Mamamin? It wasn’t precious. Avraham Avinu is Rosh (Hamon Am?), not only that Avraham Avinu believed in G-d. the question is not if you believe in G-d because you can believe in G-d because it so happens there is one G-d. I’ll ask you, do you believe in coca Cola? You will say ‘yes, because there is Coca Cola. Ill ask you ‘do you believe that Reagan is the president? Yes, because he is. Do you believe in G-d? yes, because there is’. This is not the point. The point is, could you live without G-d? Do you know how precious it is there is one G-d? Can you have in your head any vision to live without G-d? If you only believe in G-d because there is a G-d, so there is. The Ishbitzer says Eile Rashie Beis Avosam…right away. The Torah begins to connect ourselves back to our roots. Eile Rashei Beis Avosam.

Now listen to this, when you want to go get somebody out of Egypt and it doesn’t go, do you know what you do? You have to connect them to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov. It’s not yet time to explain to them things better, you have too make things more and more and more precious.

So there is a level that is it mamesh shining into my being that the whole thing is so precious. I’m so completely filled with it, there is no problem. Then there is a level that I can’t do anything with it, its just hanging inside of me.

This in between, this is Parshas Va’era. This is this parsha. When we really go out of Egypt it means that my toenails are free. This Shabbos is 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 special.

On Shabbos Va'era we read the four steps of getting out of Egypt. The first thing is 'Vehotzeisi', I will take you out. Vehitzalti, I will save you. Vega'alti, I will redeem you.

Then it says 'Velakachti Eschem Li Le'am, and then I will take you to be my people. I don’t know what it means, but let me tell you the way it looks to me now.

G-d says I will take you out from being able to stand Egypt… Sivlos Mitzrayim. Sivlos comes from the word Lisbol, to be able to put up with. You see, there are a lot of Chassidishe sayings, let me tell you the first which is on the outside. The first level of redemption … the first step toward getting out of exile is that you have to stop liking exile. Imagine I am in exile but I like it, then nobody can take you out. Once I was talking to someone all about Jerusalem. She said to me listen, I'll tell you the truth, I like the Bronx. So what can you do with her? The Messiah will come and give her a free ticket to Israel but she likes the Bronx. She will never move and there is nothing you can do about it.

Right now we are learning the portions of the Exodus of Egypt, do you know what the saddest thing in the world is? Only one fifth left Egypt, one fifth of the Jews left Egypt, they liked it. I don't have to tell you. After the black man became free in America, how many people really wanted to be free? they wanted to go back right away to being a slave, do you know why? Basically it’s the strangest thing in the world. Everybody talks about freedom, but you know something? It's a very heavy thing to be free. Why should I be free? I'll tell you, one Hebrew teacher told me something crazy. While he was teaching the kids about the Exodus of Egypt, one little boy raises his hand and says how could they leave Egypt, they had a job. You see, his father taught him that if you have a job, you don't leave. That's all his father taught him, so what can he do?

So the higher translation is that the first thing of redemption is that G-d will take you out from being able to stand it, you won't like it anymore. See what happened, when Moshe comes to the yidden, they suddenly couldn’t stand it anymore. It was the first step of redemption, but now listen to the way he says it … so deep.

Do you know what a slave is? A slave is someone who is burdened with small things.

You will ask a slave what are you concerned with? He will say 'I am hungry, I have got to eat some lunch'. You will ask him in the afternoon 'listen, you look so sad, what are you worried about?' 'I need a little bread for dinner' You will ask him at night, 'what are you worried about? I need some straw'. It's heartbreaking, but I can't take you out into freedom this way. If your concern is lunch, dinner and straw in order to sleep, then when you are free, you will be doing the same thing. So the first thing G-d says is 'I have to take you out from small things, I have to take you out from the smallness’.

Let's take our free society today. Our main concern is that we got to make a few more rubles. I will ask you 'what are you most concerned about your children?' So someone will say 'I'm so concerned, my daughter is in Temple University and her marks are not so good' … sweet but oy vey, are you a small creep, this is all you are concerned about? Yes, my son-in-law had this tremendous big position and now he is…. What are you talking about, what are you talking about? This is all there is to life?

So the Holy Ishbitser says, do you know what G-d says to Moshe, do you know what you have to do first? Take them out from their smallness.

You know friends, I want you think of it in a very deep way. It took a long time to get the Jews out of Egypt, and we always think in a very strong way that it took so long to get us out because Pharoh gave us trouble. This is only one side of the story. The other side of the story is that it took a long time to get the Jews out because to get the Jews out takes a long time. Imagine the Messiah would come right now and say 'listen, today there is a new world, a beautiful world', how many people would be interested? How many people would really be interested? One fifth. You think our holy rabbis were wrong when they said one fifth? To say that one out of five is interested is already a very high percentage. Maybe today it is one out of a thousand, but let's hope it is one out of five.

Now listen to something very very deep. Imagine if I am really concerned with very high things. I walk around and my shoulders are hanging down because I am carrying such a heavy load. But you know something, the deepest depths is that when I am connecting to such high things - it suddenly doesn’t feel like a burden. It still might be a burden but it doesn’t knock you down, it knocks you up, it lifts you up.

Imagine I can be concerned with my little hamburger for lunch. All I am thinking about is where will I get this hamburger, how much will it cost me and will it fill me up. On the other hand I can be concerned with the redemption of the world. So you will say how much does one hamburger weigh, and this question alone knocks you down. Do you think that when you are concerned with the redemption of the world you wouldn’t even be able to walk because it’s so heavy… but it's not true. Only small things weigh very heavy, high things don't weigh so much. ‘Sevel’ means to carry, to mamesh carry burdens. So again, the first thing G-d says is that I have to take you from the burdens of Egypt. So the Ishbitser says you know what burdens are? Small things, small things weigh so heavy.

You know what it is? Someone asked me what is someone who doesn’t keep Shabbos called? Heavy question. So I said to him for me a person who doesn’t keep Shabbos is not a person who personally doesn’t keep Shabbos, I'm not judging people. By me, a person who doesn’t keep Shabbos is someone who doesn't even remember that there is someone who does keep Shabbos. He is completely cut off from the world of Shabbos. I'm not judging Moishele, maybe he can't keep Shabbos, it’s between him and G-d. But at least Moishele knows that Yossele keeps Shabbos, but if he doesn't even know that Yossele keeps Shabbos he is out of Shabbos. You know how much a person can be a slave? A slave is someone who mamesh doesn't even remember that there is such a thing as freedom. Yeah, they can talk about freedom like they do in the newspapers. How deep is it inside of you?

So the first thing is that G-d says to Moshe 'take them out of the smallness'. The moment you are not concerned with small things then you really know I am a slave and I have got to get out of it, because only small people can be slaves, great people can’t be slaves.

There are thousands of stories, even in concentration camps. There were some holy Rebbes… gevalt. The Radomsker had a son-in law who was one of the greatest greatest geniuses of that generation. He was seventeen years old and he knew not only every word of the Gemara, he knew Gemara Rashi and Tosfos by heart. Seventeen years old… and you know what he did? He was teaching the whole time day and night even while he was in Auschwitz. You see what it is, he was not in slavery, mamesh unbelievable. I heard from people who saw him that gevalt was he high. So it happens that sadly enough he was there…but he wasn't there. His feet were there, his skin was there, but his soul, heart and mind were somewhere else.

You know friends, let me tell you something, and it is so obvious today. Sometimes you meet

people and their mind is so great and so special, they have such deep ideas. Then again you meet people who are so small, even the way they think of the redemption of the world is so small… so small.

So this is the first step.

Then 'Vehitzalti Eschem Me'avodasam'. So the first thing is G-d takes me out of my smallness, and suddenly I am becoming high again. The moment I am high, deep and divine and G-dly again, suddenly I realize I am in the wrong place.

So G-d says 'okay, Vehitzalti Esechem, I will save u from there too, I am with you all the way.'

But now something even deeper, it's not the end yet.

You know what it is? Listen to this, this is mamesh mind-blowing. Sometimes you meet young people who are the highest in the world. Then you come to visit them in their parents' house. Without saying anything too bad, in their parents' house they are not the same because their parents make them small. That means there is somebody in the world who can make them small, which basically means they are not completely free yet. Maybe their ideas are free, but there is something very deep inside which is not free yet, where someone can have dominion over them. So G-d says 'Vega'alti Eschem', I will redeem you. If there is one deep place inside you where someone can have dominion over you, I will take you out from there.

Friends, listen to the most mind blowing thing, this is the last thing. When G-d says Velakachti Li Eschem Le'am, I will take you to be my people. You know what it is to be G-d's people? To be G-d's people means that suddenly it's clear to me that nobody in the world has dominion over me but G-d.

I want you to think of it in a very deep way. You have to realize that Egypt was a preparation for all exiles to follow, because Mashiach didn’t come when we walked out of Egypt. Until Mashiach is coming is a long way, the world isn’t ready yet. So this redemption out of Egypt was a preparation for all generations to come.

What is the strongest preparation? The strongest preparation is to know that no one really has dominion over you, nobody has dominion over you. You are mamesh absolutely under G-d's dominion. Not only from now on, but you never were under anyone's dominion. Do you know what kind of deep freedom this is to know that no one can tell me anything but G-d? Nobody in the world. Nobody in the world… not the highest, not the lowest, nobody in the world. This is G-d's people.

You know friends, how long does it take to get something into your soul?

There is a passage which says Ki Mitsiyon Teitze Torah, out of Zion will come forth the teaching, Udvar Hashem Miyerushalayim, and the word of G-d from Yerushalayim. So the Ishbitser says, isn’t the Torah G-d's word? Why does the prophet put it in two categories? The Torah will come out of Zion, and the word of G-d from Yerushalayim.

In a nutshell, this is what the Ishbitser says. Even the word of G-d … if I receive it on the level of information it's Torah, its' a holy teaching, it might be the holiest teaching. Until it gets into my bones, until my toe nails know about it, until it stops being knowledge and so much inside of me, in my heart my soul my mind my everything… until then it is not called G-d's word.

Now think of it in a very deep way friends.

You know it's strange. I would do a lot of things in life, but do you know why I don’t do them? Because it is not inside of me, it is not clear to me that this is really G-d's word. If it was mamesh clear to me that this is G-d's word I would do it. But the saddest thing is that it just doesn’t go this way. So I would say okay G-d, make it clear to me that this is your word, and I will do it. Doesn’t go this way. You have to plow yourself right through it. First G-d gives you a little knowledge, then you have to work on it so hard, so hard. Gevalt does it take pain until you get to it.

Do you know what this means? It means that I can keep Shabbos all my life and yet the word Shabbos never became G-d's word to me. Unless Shabbos is going into this deepest deepest depths of my soul.

According to kabalistic tradition, the last part, Velakachti Eschem Li Le'am, and I will take you unto me as my people has sadly enough not been fulfilled yet, we haven’t reached it yet. Every person in his private life, and all of us on a world level, we still think that people are running the world. It’s heartbreaking.

Anyway, these coming two Shabbosses are the strongest vitamin pills you will ever have until Mashiach is coming. Parshas Bo and Beshalach is that there really is one G-d in the world, and we are absolutely free… absolutely free. Do you know that I mean to tell you? You can have freedom on a knowledge level, so I know there is freedom… mazel tov. I know that I am free… doesn’t make you free yet, has to be on a word of G-d level, inside of the inside.

I'll tell you something, for instance when it comes to anger. I can have this deep information that I shouldn't get angry, so each time I want to get angry my information tells me don’t get angry, don’t you know that it says so in the Gemara and in chassidus that you are not permitted to get angry, so don’t get angry. And I struggle with it all my life, you know what it is? My problem is very simple. My problem is not anger, my problem that I have not reached yet the level of the word of G-d, because if it is the word of G-d it gets inside of me so much.

And I want to share something very deep with you. Imagine I will walk up to a girl and I will say to her I love you very much, and yet there will be two thousand obstacles for us to get together. It will be so heavy and so hard, we are barely making it. It’s very beautiful, but you know what it is? My telling you 'I love you' was only on the level of Torah, which is also very high and beautiful. It's the truth, but you know what it is, it takes more than the truth. You think all it takes is the truth? A person can know the truth a million times and still be off. The truth does not prevent you from doing something else. There is only one way … Udvar Hashem MiYerushalayim, the word of G-d from Yerushalayim. If it becomes so clear to me, it is mamesh G-d's word, it is shining into me on the utmost utmost shining level.

So remember the four steps. First we have to get out of our smallness. As long as you are small you don’t even know that you are a slave. Take all those multi millionaires. You walk up them and say 'you know what brother, you are the dirtiest, filthiest, lowest slave in the world.' 'I'm a slave? I have four thousand people whose life depends on me. I am the president of a big company…I am a slave?' Oy gevalt are you a slave.

So the first thing we have to shine into them is to take them out of their smallness. And then G-d says okay, I will take you out of there too, I will give you freedom. But then there is a level of freedom from … that means that there is something which can make you into a slave. You are still a slave, even if you don’t have it. Let's say for instance if I would say that this person has dominion over me and I am moving to Bermuda, I am free. Yes, but you're not because if it takes you to move to Bermuda in order to be free that means there is a possibility for you to be a slave, you are still not free. The highest level is to be G-d's people… nobody has anything to tell me, I am absolutely free.

Good Shabbos, Good Yomtov friends.

You know friends, I want you to know in the craziest way, I feel it so strong. You know how many marriages go broke because of this one little thing between them, they don’t know who has dominion over whom. Not in everything, in a few things. This power struggle, who am I and who are you. What do I say, what do you do say. Parents and children… gevalt, gevalt is that a delicate thing.

Seder night we are sitting with our children, for the first time we are sitting with our children without having dominion over them.

If I sit with my baby and I mamesh know deep in my heart that I have no dominion over her, absolutely no dominion over her, then do you know how much my baby would open up and ask me all the questions? Everything in the world.

I want you to know, people don’t ask a question by their slave driver, by their slave driver you get orders, you don’t ask questions. If children stop asking questions to their parents, deep questions, it’s because parents live under the illusion that their children are their slaves. If I say I have a right to tell you something, it’s already the end.

Let me tell you something. Imagine nobody in the whole world ever told me what to do, so you would think that I really never tasted slavery, I am the most free person in the world, right? Yes and no. But imagine if my whole life, the whole world tells me what to do and I work my way up to the point that I realize that no one can tell me what to do, there is only one G-d who can tell me what to do… it's much deeper much deeper.

I want you to know, Shabbos is two things. Can you imagine at that moment when G-d created the world, did anybody tell anybody what to do? No, we were just created. So Shabbos is Zikaron Lema'ase Breishis, remember the beginning of creation. Remember at that moment when G-d created Adam and Eve, they didn't say one word to each other yet, so nobody was anybody's slave. Then it says Zecher Leyetzias Mitzrayim, to remember the Exodus out of Egypt. After coming out of slavery and realizing that ultimately nobody can tell me what to do.

I'll tell you something else, do you know who is a good teacher? One who is telling me everything but in such a way that I know that only G-d can tell me what to do. A real good teacher is somebody who just brings me a message from G-d. Imagine if I could be in a classroom without ever telling the kids do this, don’t do this. Gevalt how they would learn from me. But even If I give them the highest information, my teacher told me to sit straight, and he also told me there is one G-d, but it's on the same level. Mt teacher told me don’t go to the bathroom for another half an hour and he also told me that G-d spoke to us on Mount Sinai. So it’s all the same thing. Imagine if someday we will have schools where you just teach children, giving them information, without making them into little slaves. I don't know how to do it myself, to tell you the truth, maybe we won’t have such school until Mashiach is coming. I just want to bless all the children here that they should learn in such schools, and bless me back that my baby should have such a school. I'm telling you, the older my baby gets every day, the more I am shivering. There is no school in the world yet where I can take my baby'le by the hand and say 'okay sweetest, sit down here, this is where they will teach you'. I think I would be lying beneath the bentch she is sitting at and crying my eyes out, and I mean it literally. For this G-d had to send out such high kids in order that we ruin them? We are ruining them from the beginning.

Anyway, remember this Shabbos, the first thing is before we are even going out Egypt we are sitting with our children, it’s the first thing, it’s the acid test. The acid test is always how are you sitting with your children. If you know how to sit with your children then you are a free man. Then the next morning you can walk out of Egypt.

Oy gevalt, I'm telling you, heavy stuff, it sounds simple but it's so hard, it’s so hard, so hard. Can you imagine, for 3, 500 year we are trying but we didn’t do it yet? We haven't done it yet, we haven't done it yet, maybe this Shabbos, maybe this Shabbos.

Va’era - Exodus from Paganism

The Maharal says (Netzach Yisrael 1) anything which is unnatural cannot last. Imagine I would force a human being to walk on four; eventually this person would rebel because nature has a tremendous force. Everyone wants to hopefully be natural. Even those who want to be super sophisticated and act unnatural, eventually they break down and are normal again. To be a slave is completely unnatural because G-d created us in his image, so it’s absolutely not normal for someone to be a slave.

When it comes to the redemption of us yiddelach from slavery, I could say that all we really wanted was to get out of Egypt and be normal human beings again. But how does that sound to you, is this all there was to us leaving Egypt? To stop being slaves? This whole big operation, Moshe Rabbeinu, the ten plagues, everything coming on so hard was just in order to stop the slavery? It’s got to be more than that. And here I want you to know something so deep. War is unnatural and peace is normal. Do you think that all the world needs is to stop fighting with each other and be normal again? Do you really think that G-d has been preparing the world for thousands of years for the coming of the messiah just so that we could be natural again? It’s got to be more than that. Nature means that If I’m good I’m good, if I’m bad I’m bad. If I love you, I hug you, and when I hate you, I hate you. This is so to speak normal. Do you know what it means to be in G-d’s image? To be in G-d’s image means I’m beyond nature, I could be beyond everything in the world.

What’s the difference between us yiddelach and the world of psychology? The world of psychology says to you, “you want to call someone a dirty name? Go right ahead, it’s beautiful to express yourself. If you feel the need of having a very dirty mouth it’s really okay.” The world of psychology says that if you want to assert yourself, who cares what the other person is feeling? Some people think they have to walk around, telling people what they really think of them, and this is all in the name of ‘the truth’. It’s cute and sweet, but what it really means is that I don’t really care about your feelings. I walk away thinking I’m the holiest man in the world, always telling the truth. That’s all there is to life? It’s got to be more than that. Being normal again might be healthy, but us human beings have something so much deeper than just being natural.

I want you to think of it in a deep way. When I meet a girl who I end up loving very much and want to marry, what am I thinking about? Do I just want to live like a normal human being? Do I want to be married since everyone else is getting married? Do I want to build a house with you because that’s what all other couples do? Is this all you are capable of dreaming about? When I meet someone I love very much, I want something that never happened before. I don’t want to marry them because everyone else is getting married.

I’ll tell you something. I can walk on the street and buy an apple for one dollar and twenty cents, but now imagine there is an apple I paid a million dollars for. How much am I taking care of that apple? Do you know why most parents are really not taking care of their children? They paid for one dollar and twenty cents for it. That’s all they put in, but if you put in a million dollars, gevalt are you careful.

Sometimes I meet someone who says “I’m a Jew,” but you can tell it’s for real yet. They eat gefilte fish and have chicken soup on Shabbos, and they go to shul Shabbos morning. What’s missing there? Everything about them is within the realm of nature, but nothing is sticking out. You know who a servant of G-d is? A servant of G-d is someone who is completely beyond nature. There are so many married couples that are so far from each other. Everything about their relationship is one hundred percent natural. He is a man, she is a woman, they got married, they live in the same house. What is missing? There is nothing between them that is beyond nature.

We all know that the world needs redemption, but what does redemption mean? Redemption is to be beyond everything. Redemption does not mean to return to my natural state. It’s to be somewhere so much deeper and so much holier. How much have we gone through in history to be Jewish? Do we go through so much to just be able to have some chicken soup on Shabbos, to just go to shul on Shabbos morning and shuckle a little bit? It’s got to be more than that.

So here we come to the deepest question in the world. What kind of redemption were we waiting for in Egypt? Moshe thought he would come to Pharoh and tell him “let my people go,” and Pharoh would say “I think you are right Moshe, I’ll let them go.” How does that sound to you? For this we are slaves for two hundred and ten years, for Pharoh to say “you are right, we should be more human, I’ll give you freedom,” how does it sound to you? That’s all there is to it? Let me ask you, if we had gotten free from Pharoh like this, would we have Seder night? Would we have Pesach?

Now open your hearts. Moshe Rabbeinu says to G-d “the Jews will ask me what is your name, what should I answer them?”(Shmos 3:13) Let me ask you friends, we are talking about the children of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov. They knew there was one G-d, I’m sure they were some of the greatest kabbalists in the world. What does it mean they don’t know G-d’s name? So what was Moshe really asking G-d? Moshe Rabbeinu was asking G-d “what kind of a redemption are you preparing us for? Do I go to Pharoh and say “let my people go,” and it might take a few weeks, and he will eventually give in or is it something much deeper than that? What exactly are we talking about?

I want you to know something heartbreakingly powerful. One time in my life I had the privilege of saving someone’s life. I was in France and a girl jumped into the ocean, trying to commit suicide. I jumped into the ocean and got her out. It was an awesome experience. I could not imagine ever doing anything wrong again. It was so holy to mamesh save someone’s life. When the Mishna says that saving someone’s life is like saving the whole word (Tractate Sanhedrin 4:5), it is mamesh for real, it’s not juts a cute little saying. So the next day I asked a lifeguard how many lives he saved that year? With the most bitter face he says to me “I saved twenty-six children.” Twenty-six children, according to nature, he should glow. G-d’s presence should be upon him day and night. Why isn’t he glowing? Because it’s his job, he is supposed to save somebody. He sees someone drowning, he jumps in and gets them out, but his inside is not involved.

You see what it is, to serve G-d without your inside is absolute paganism. In Hebrew paganism is called Avoda Zara. You know what that means? The Kotzker Rebbe says that Avoda Zara doesn’t mean paganism; it means a strange kind of service. I can serve G-d but serving G-d is strange to me. I can be married to my wife like a stranger. I can say hello to my kids like a stranger. I can come to the holy wall, shuckle like a herring, and pray for three hours but do it all as a stranger. The most important question is, how much are you a non-stranger to G-d?

You see what it is, the exodus from Egypt is not just the exodus from slavery, it’s the exodus from paganism. Stop being a stranger to G-d. We must realize in a very serious way, any person who feels strange with another human being is not material for the messiah yet. You might go to paradise, you might be the president of your synagogue, but you haven’t tasted anything of the Messiah yet. I want you to know, the degree of being strange to G-d and of being strangers with people is the same. If I can see a poor man on the street and not bring him to my house, something inside of me is a stranger with G-d. We are not so close yet.

Now listen to the deepest depths. When Moshe Rabbeinu came and told yidden that G-d is redeeming them, they believed Moshe because it was still in the framework of nature. Every slave has to be eventually be freed. But after G-d told Moshe that redemption is much deeper than just getting out of Egypt, “Velo Sham’u El Moshe,” (Shmos 6:9) they had no vessels to hear it. They could not fathom this kind of ‘beyond nature’ redemption.

We have to give the world a different message. The message is not that you didn’t have money for bagels yesterday but from now on you will because there is peace in the world. Yesterday you were shooting each other, tomorrow you will say hi. Has mankind been going through fire for thousands of years just be able to say hi in the morning? Who do you think G-d is? This is what G-d is saying to Moshe. It is not that I can’t get the Jews out in one minute, G-d can make a miracle and take them out in a split second. But we first have to find out what we are made out of. And this is what the ten plagues were all about. To get out of Egypt was a secondary thing. The ten plagues weren’t so much for the Egyptians, they were mainly for us yidden. Because each time there was a plague, we got a little bit more out of Egypt. It was not just that we were slaves to Pharoh and had to work for him, mentally and spiritually we were slaves in Egypt. Each time a plague took place, we Jews got deeper and deeper. Our vision of G-d, our vision of redemption got so much deeper. So you see what it is, G-d did not just want to redeem us from slavery, what G-d really wanted was to make different human beings out of us.

On Shabbos Va'era we read the four steps of getting out of Egypt. The first thing is 'Vehotzeisi', I will take you out. Vehitzalti, I will save you. Vega'alti, I will redeem you.

Then it says 'Velakachti Eschem Li Le'am, and then I will take you to be my people. I don’t know what it means, but let me tell you the way it looks to me now.

G-d says I will take you out from being able to stand Egypt… Sivlos Mitzrayim. Sivlos comes from the word Lisbol, to be able to put up with. You see, there are a lot of Chassidishe sayings, let me tell you the first which is on the outside. The first level of redemption … the first step toward getting out of exile is that you have to stop liking exile. Imagine I am in exile but I like it, then nobody can take you out. Once I was talking to someone all about Jerusalem. She said to me listen, I'll tell you the truth, I like the Bronx. So what can you do with her? The Messiah will come and give her a free ticket to Israel but she likes the Bronx. She will never move and there is nothing you can do about it.

Right now we are learning the portions of the Exodus of Egypt, do you know what the saddest thing in the world is? Only one fifth left Egypt, one fifth of the Jews left Egypt, they liked it. I don't have to tell you. After the black man became free in America, how many people really wanted to be free? they wanted to go back right away to being a slave, do you know why? Basically it’s the strangest thing in the world. Everybody talks about freedom, but you know something? It's a very heavy thing to be free. Why should I be free? I'll tell you, one Hebrew teacher told me something crazy. While he was teaching the kids about the Exodus of Egypt, one little boy raises his hand and says how could they leave Egypt, they had a job. You see, his father taught him that if you have a job, you don't leave. That's all his father taught him, so what can he do?

So the higher translation is that the first thing of redemption is that G-d will take you out from being able to stand it, you won't like it anymore. See what happened, when Moshe comes to the yidden, they suddenly couldn’t stand it anymore. It was the first step of redemption, but now listen to the way he says it … so deep.

Do you know what a slave is? A slave is someone who is burdened with small things.

You will ask a slave what are you concerned with? He will say 'I am hungry, I have got to eat some lunch'. You will ask him in the afternoon 'listen, you look so sad, what are you worried about?' 'I need a little bread for dinner' You will ask him at night, 'what are you worried about? I need some straw'. It's heartbreaking, but I can't take you out into freedom this way. If your concern is lunch, dinner and straw in order to sleep, then when you are free, you will be doing the same thing. So the first thing G-d says is 'I have to take you out from small things, I have to take you out from the smallness’.

Let's take our free society today. Our main concern is that we got to make a few more rubles. I will ask you 'what are you most concerned about your children?' So someone will say 'I'm so concerned, my daughter is in Temple University and her marks are not so good' … sweet but oy vey, are you a small creep, this is all you are concerned about? Yes, my son-in-law had this tremendous big position and now he is…. What are you talking about, what are you talking about? This is all there is to life?

So the Holy Ishbitser says, do you know what G-d says to Moshe, do you know what you have to do first? Take them out from their smallness.

You know friends, I want you think of it in a very deep way. It took a long time to get the Jews out of Egypt, and we always think in a very strong way that it took so long to get us out because Pharoh gave us trouble. This is only one side of the story. The other side of the story is that it took a long time to get the Jews out because to get the Jews out takes a long time. Imagine the Messiah would come right now and say 'listen, today there is a new world, a beautiful world', how many people would be interested? How many people would really be interested? One fifth. You think our holy rabbis were wrong when they said one fifth? To say that one out of five is interested is already a very high percentage. Maybe today it is one out of a thousand, but let's hope it is one out of five.

Now listen to something very very deep. Imagine if I am really concerned with very high things. I walk around and my shoulders are hanging down because I am carrying such a heavy load. But you know something, the deepest depths is that when I am connecting to such high things - it suddenly doesn’t feel like a burden. It still might be a burden but it doesn’t knock you down, it knocks you up, it lifts you up.

Imagine I can be concerned with my little hamburger for lunch. All I am thinking about is where will I get this hamburger, how much will it cost me and will it fill me up. On the other hand I can be concerned with the redemption of the world. So you will say how much does one hamburger weigh, and this question alone knocks you down. Do you think that when you are concerned with the redemption of the world you wouldn’t even be able to walk because it’s so heavy… but it's not true. Only small things weigh very heavy, high things don't weigh so much. ‘Sevel’ means to carry, to mamesh carry burdens. So again, the first thing G-d says is that I have to take you from the burdens of Egypt. So the Ishbitser says you know what burdens are? Small things, small things weigh so heavy.

You know what it is? Someone asked me what is someone who doesn’t keep Shabbos called? Heavy question. So I said to him for me a person who doesn’t keep Shabbos is not a person who personally doesn’t keep Shabbos, I'm not judging people. By me, a person who doesn’t keep Shabbos is someone who doesn't even remember that there is someone who does keep Shabbos. He is completely cut off from the world of Shabbos. I'm not judging Moishele, maybe he can't keep Shabbos, it’s between him and G-d. But at least Moishele knows that Yossele keeps Shabbos, but if he doesn't even know that Yossele keeps Shabbos he is out of Shabbos. You know how much a person can be a slave? A slave is someone who mamesh doesn't even remember that there is such a thing as freedom. Yeah, they can talk about freedom like they do in the newspapers. How deep is it inside of you?

So the first thing is that G-d says to Moshe 'take them out of the smallness'. The moment you are not concerned with small things then you really know I am a slave and I have got to get out of it, because only small people can be slaves, great people can’t be slaves.

There are thousands of stories, even in concentration camps. There were some holy Rebbes… gevalt. The Radomsker had a son-in law who was one of the greatest greatest geniuses of that generation. He was seventeen years old and he knew not only every word of the Gemara, he knew Gemara Rashi and Tosfos by heart. Seventeen years old… and you know what he did? He was teaching the whole time day and night even while he was in Auschwitz. You see what it is, he was not in slavery, mamesh unbelievable. I heard from people who saw him that gevalt was he high. So it happens that sadly enough he was there…but he wasn't there. His feet were there, his skin was there, but his soul, heart and mind were somewhere else.

You know friends, let me tell you something, and it is so obvious today. Sometimes you meet people and their mind is so great and so special, they have such deep ideas. Then again you meet people who are so small, even the way they think of the redemption of the world is so small… so small.

So this is the first step.

Then 'Vehitzalti Eschem Me'avodasam'. So the first thing is G-d takes me out of my smallness, and suddenly I am becoming high again. The moment I am high, deep and divine and G-dly again, suddenly I realize I am in the wrong place.

So G-d says 'okay, Vehitzalti Esechem, I will save u from there too, I am with you all the way.'

But now something even deeper, it's not the end yet.

You know what it is? Listen to this, this is mamesh mind-blowing. Sometimes you meet young people who are the highest in the world. Then you come to visit them in their parents' house. Without saying anything too bad, in their parents' house they are not the same because their parents make them small. That means there is somebody in the world who can make them small, which basically means they are not completely free yet. Maybe their ideas are free, but there is something very deep inside which is not free yet, where someone can have dominion over them. So G-d says 'Vega'alti Eschem', I will redeem you. If there is one deep place inside you where someone can have dominion over you, I will take you out from there.

Friends, listen to the most mind blowing thing, this is the last thing. When G-d says Velakachti Li Eschem Le'am, I will take you to be my people. You know what it is to be G-d's people? To be G-d's people means that suddenly it's clear to me that nobody in the world has dominion over me but G-d.

I want you to think of it in a very deep way. You have to realize that Egypt was a preparation for all exiles to follow, because Mashiach didn’t come when we walked out of Egypt. Until Mashiach is coming is a long way, the world isn’t ready yet. So this redemption out of Egypt was a preparation for all generations to come.

What is the strongest preparation? The strongest preparation is to know that no one really has dominion over you, nobody has dominion over you. You are mamesh absolutely under G-d's dominion. Not only from now on, but you never were under anyone's dominion. Do you know what kind of deep freedom this is to know that no one can tell me anything but G-d? Nobody in the world. Nobody in the world… not the highest, not the lowest, nobody in the world. This is G-d's people.

You know friends, how long does it take to get something into your soul?

There is a passage which says Ki Mitsiyon Teitze Torah, out of Zion will come forth the teaching, Udvar Hashem Miyerushalayim, and the word of G-d from Yerushalayim. So the Ishbitser says, isn’t the Torah G-d's word? Why does the prophet put it in two categories? The Torah will come out of Zion, and the word of G-d from Yerushalayim.

In a nutshell, this is what the Ishbitser says. Even the word of G-d … if I receive it on the level of information it's Torah, its' a holy teaching, it might be the holiest teaching. Until it gets into my bones, until my toe nails know about it, until it stops being knowledge and so much inside of me, in my heart my soul my mind my everything… until then it is not called G-d's word.

Now think of it in a very deep way friends.

You know it's strange. I would do a lot of things in life, but do you know why I don’t do them? Because it is not inside of me, it is not clear to me that this is really G-d's word. If it was mamesh clear to me that this is G-d's word I would do it. But the saddest thing is that it just doesn’t go this way. So I would say okay G-d, make it clear to me that this is your word, and I will do it. Doesn’t go this way. You have to plow yourself right through it. First G-d gives you a little knowledge, then you have to work on it so hard, so hard. Gevalt does it take pain until you get to it.

Do you know what this means? It means that I can keep Shabbos all my life and yet the word Shabbos never became G-d's word to me. Unless Shabbos is going into this deepest deepest depths of my soul.

According to kabalistic tradition, the last part, Velakachti Eschem Li Le'am, and I will take you unto me as my people has sadly enough not been fulfilled yet, we haven’t reached it yet. Every person in his private life, and all of us on a world level, we still think that people are running the world. It’s heartbreaking.

Anyway, these coming two Shabbosses are the strongest vitamin pills you will ever have until Mashiach is coming. Parshas Bo and Beshalach is that there really is one G-d in the world, and we are absolutely free… absolutely free. Do you know that I mean to tell you? You can have freedom on a knowledge level, so I know there is freedom… mazel tov. I know that I am free… doesn’t make you free yet, has to be on a word of G-d level, inside of the inside.

I'll tell you something, for instance when it comes to anger. I can have this deep information that I shouldn't get angry, so each time I want to get angry my information tells me don’t get angry, don’t you know that it says so in the Gemara and in chassidus that you are not permitted to get angry, so don’t get angry. And I struggle with it all my life, you know what it is? My problem is very simple. My problem is not anger, my problem that I have not reached yet the level of the word of G-d, because if it is the word of G-d it gets inside of me so much.

And I want to share something very deep with you. Imagine I will walk up to a girl and I will say to her I love you very much, and yet there will be two thousand obstacles for us to get together. It will be so heavy and so hard, we are barely making it. It’s very beautiful, but you know what it is? My telling you 'I love you' was only on the level of Torah, which is also very high and beautiful. It's the truth, but you know what it is, it takes more than the truth. You think all it takes is the truth? A person can know the truth a million times and still be off. The truth does not prevent you from doing something else. There is only one way … Udvar Hashem MiYerushalayim, the word of G-d from Yerushalayim. If it becomes so clear to me, it is mamesh G-d's word, it is shining into me on the utmost utmost shining level.

So remember the four steps. First we have to get out of our smallness. As long as you are small you don’t even know that you are a slave. Take all those multi millionaires. You walk up them and say 'you know what brother, you are the dirtiest, filthiest, lowest slave in the world.' 'I'm a slave? I have four thousand people whose life depends on me. I am the president of a big company…I am a slave?' Oy gevalt are you a slave.

So the first thing we have to shine into them is to take them out of their smallness. And then G-d says okay, I will take you out of there too, I will give you freedom. But then there is a level of freedom from … that means that there is something which can make you into a slave. You are still a slave, even if you don’t have it. Let's say for instance if I would say that this person has dominion over me and I am moving to Bermuda, I am free. Yes, but you're not because if it takes you to move to Bermuda in order to be free that means there is a possibility for you to be a slave, you are still not free. The highest level is to be G-d's people… nobody has anything to tell me, I am absolutely free.

Good Shabbos, Good Yomtov friends.

You know friends, I want you to know in the craziest way, I feel it so strong. You know how many marriages go broke because of this one little thing between them, they don’t know who has dominion over whom. Not in everything, in a few things. This power struggle, who am I and who are you. What do I say, what do you do say. Parents and children… gevalt, gevalt is that a delicate thing.

Seder night we are sitting with our children, for the first time we are sitting with our children without having dominion over them.

If I sit with my baby and I mamesh know deep in my heart that I have no dominion over her, absolutely no dominion over her, then do you know how much my baby would open up and ask me all the questions? Everything in the world.

I want you to know, people don’t ask a question by their slave driver, by their slave driver you get orders, you don’t ask questions. If children stop asking questions to their parents, deep questions, it’s because parents live under the illusion that their children are their slaves. If I say I have a right to tell you something, it’s already the end.

Let me tell you something. Imagine nobody in the whole world ever told me what to do, so you would think that I really never tasted slavery, I am the most free person in the world, right? Yes and no. But imagine if my whole life, the whole world tells me what to do and I work my way up to the point that I realize that no one can tell me what to do, there is only one G-d who can tell me what to do… it's much deeper much deeper.

I want you to know, Shabbos is two things. Can you imagine at that moment when G-d created the world, did anybody tell anybody what to do? No, we were just created. So Shabbos is Zikaron Lema'ase Breishis, remember the beginning of creation. Remember at that moment when G-d created Adam and Eve, they didn't say one word to each other yet, so nobody was anybody's slave. Then it says Zecher Leyetzias Mitzrayim, to remember the Exodus out of Egypt. After coming out of slavery and realizing that ultimately nobody can tell me what to do.

I'll tell you something else, do you know who is a good teacher? One who is telling me everything but in such a way that I know that only G-d can tell me what to do. A real good teacher is somebody who just brings me a message from G-d. Imagine if I could be in a classroom without ever telling the kids do this, don’t do this. Gevalt how they would learn from me. But even If I give them the highest information, my teacher told me to sit straight, and he also told me there is one G-d, but it's on the same level. Mt teacher told me don’t go to the bathroom for another half an hour and he also told me that G-d spoke to us on Mount Sinai. So it’s all the same thing. Imagine if someday we will have schools where you just teach children, giving them information, without making them into little slaves. I don't know how to do it myself, to tell you the truth, maybe we won’t have such school until Mashiach is coming. I just want to bless all the children here that they should learn in such schools, and bless me back that my baby should have such a school. I'm telling you, the older my baby gets every day, the more I am shivering. There is no school in the world yet where I can take my baby'le by the hand and say 'okay sweetest, sit down here, this is where they will teach you'. I think I would be lying beneath the bentch she is sitting at and crying my eyes out, and I mean it literally. For this G-d had to send out such high kids in order that we ruin them? We are ruining them from the beginning.

Anyway, remember this Shabbos, the first thing is before we are even going out Egypt we are sitting with our children, it’s the first thing, it’s the acid test. The acid test is always how are you sitting with your children. If you know how to sit with your children then you are a free man. Then the next morning you can walk out of Egypt.

Oy gevalt, I'm telling you, heavy stuff, it sounds simple but it's so hard, it’s so hard, so hard. Can you imagine, for 3, 500 year we are trying but we didn’t do it yet? We haven't done it yet, we haven't done it yet, maybe this Shabbos, maybe this Shabbos.

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