Parsha Vayikra 5781 – Coming closer to God
This Parsha is always read before Pesach. It is all about serving God, coming to close to God
How does one become close to God?
Do you think that you be close to God if everything is perfect?
Do you think you can be close to your wife if you never argue or make mistakes?
We become closer when we are broken and make mistakes.
Our mistakes, our anxieties are opportunities for communication, repair, improvement and closeness.
It is painful. We live in broken world with so much suffering, discomfort, and dysfunctionality.
One moment we are happy, the next moment not. Life is fragile and cruel as we have seen in the effects of Covid19.
How can something broken be made stronger. This contradicts the laws of nature.
Sometimes, we need to make mistakes to improve, become closer?
It is hard and challenging, but through hardships we become a better person.
Why does night always precede day?
Ø Dark before Light
Ø The Holocaust before the State of Israel and the in gathering of the exiles.
Ø Slavery in Egypt before redemption
Ø War followed by Peace.
In our Parsha, we brought sacrifices to atone for our sins. These sacrifices brought us to closer to God.
Our mistakes, our sins, life events bring us closer to God, our loved ones and ourselves
Ps i would not have had this inspiration if not for a mistake i made
I am sharing 2 messages from Reb Shlomo – Both are very deep-and offers higher insights into what exprssed The first one is about regret. We do indeed regret our actions , and the other about your owning your Voice, working to improve yourself and connection to God,
Reb Shlomo Carlebach on Parshat Vayikra
Vayikra - The Secret Behind the Korbanot
Everyone knows that one of the key parts of bringing a sacrifice is regret. When I bring a sacrifice I am basically saying to the Ribbono Shel Olam "I did wrong, and I regret what I did."
Let me point something out to you.
What does it mean that you stand before G-d and you regret something?
To regret something means "Ribbono Shel Olam, this is really not the way I am."
Imagine I somebody very much and I hurt their feeling. When I say "I'm sorry I hurt you feeling," What do I really mean to say? I am basically saying "I'm not capable of consciously hurting you because I love you so much. Some stupid spirit came over me, and I used words which I don't mean." What I'm saying to this person is that it didn't come from the depths of my heart.
When you come to the Holy Temple and bring a sacrifice, something very important becomes come clear to you, "I really did not was t to sin."
Sometimes we can live as something or as somebody for years and years, thinking this is what we really want and one day we wake up and say, "I'm so stupid, this is not what I want, this is not where I belong."
As a way out tragic example, I heard this story about a Chassidishe yid, a Radomsker chassid. He came to Berlin and thought to himself, "The Radomsker Rebbe is great but what does he know? Germany is a different story, here I make money." The greatest thing happened to him, his daughter was going out with a German army officer, which was so to speak the greatest honor in the world. When Hitler took over he thought, 'The Polish Jews can still hold on to their Rebbe for help Not me, I have a future son-in-law who is a big officer.'
One night this Nazi walks in and he starts beating up the girl because they claimed that someone from Jewish blood is trying to seduce an Aryan. This yidel work up and starting asking himself who am I, what am I.
Besides beating, what else did he experience that night?
The Ba'al Shem Tov says that sometimes we look at ourselves and while regretting what we did we become sad. Let me ask you, can you imagine living your life under the illusion thinking that you did something right when really, it was the worst thing in the world? On the one hand I'm sad that I made a mistake, but thank G-d - He let me know of it. I should be jumping for joy when that which I did wrong was revealed to me.
So when Yidele came to the Holy Temple and brought a sacrifice, he might have been walking in with a broken-heart, but at a certain point of understanding the depths of regret, he would end up telling G-d, "Master of the Universe, it is clear to me that this is what I want."
Now let's go even deeper. Sometimes we only know what we don't want, but what about what we really do want? The deepest translation of G-d is when it is clear to you what you really want. Not only what your kishkes want, nor what your ear wants. The deepest question is what does you neshama want, what does you inside want?
So you see what the Levi'im would do? The holiness of their playing was that they opened all gates of everyone's hearts and everyone's soul to find out what they mamesh want.
The Essence of Hashem
The Medrash says that when G-d spoke to Avraham, G-d’s voice sounded like his own voice. But when G-d spoke to Yitzchak, it was the voice of Avraham, and when He spoke to Ya’akov, it was the voice of Yitzchak. When He spoke to Moshe, it was the voice of Amram his father. But here, in Vayikra, something changes. Vayikra el Moshe – he heard G-d’s voice but this time it didn’t sound like his father. Moshe began to hear his own voice as well.
Why suddenly here, now in the beginning of Vayikra? Open your hearts to the deepest depths.
Everybody knows that Bereishis is the book of creation. G-d created the world, He created it hidden. In Shmos G-d took us out of Egypt and gave us the Torah. Vayikra is something else. Vayikra is Sefer Avoda, it’s about reaching beyond yourself through the service of G-d.
What does Avodas Hashem ( Service of G-d) mean? It is possible to know every word of the Torah. It is possible to do everything right, but you are still not a servant of G-d. You’re a fine person, you do everything right, but a servant of G-d is something else. Who is a servant of G-d? Service of G-d is being close to G-d. There are husbands and wives, Nebach. They are very correct to each other, they are always good to each other, treat each other with respect but they are not close to each other. There are parents who do everything for their children, sweet and cute, but they are not close.
Vayikra always comes between Purim and Pesach. The Gemarah says that we go from redemption (Purim) to redemption (Pesach). We need redemption on two levels. First, knowing that Jews are here forever and G-d is here forever and everything holy is here forever and loving people are forever and the Torah is here forever and ever.
Then there is one more level, just knowing that no one is master without G-d.
So on Purim, as I celebrate my eternity it will give me the strength to celebrate Pesach with the utmost freedom, without any master over me. I shall be only a servant of G-d. On Purim, I am redeemed from the slavery of time, I celebrate that we yiddelach are here forever.
On Pesach, I am redeemed from the slavery of civilization, of ideas. Freed from the people’s ideas of me, even of my own ideas.
On Purim – what is shining into me is that I’m a Jew.
Pesach- what is shining into me is that I’m a servant to G-d.
When these two concepts are mamesh alive in me, I begin to taste the freedom of being a Servant of G-d!
Original Recording Reb Shlomo's Torah