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Torah and Mitzvot Bring Emunah - Rabbi Elimelech Biderman shlit"a

Torah and Mitzvos Bring Emunah

The Noam Elimelech writes: "It is essential that one study the holy Torah lishmah (for its sake), because then he will know Hashem, recognize His greatness and wonders, and be connected with Hashem. As it states (20:1), "Hashem taught…the entire Torah so people will be able to say, 'I am Hashem, your G-d…' Because with Torah, one can proclaim, 'You are our G-d.'" Also, in this week's parashah, the Noam Elimelech writes, "With Torah, a person can attain deveikus (clinging) to Hashem. The purpose of the Torah is that a person should have deveikus and emunah (faith)."

Rebbe Yechezkel of Kozmir zt'l explained, "Everything written in Torah, לאמר, is so Jews can proclaim, that Hashem is One.” Emunah is the purpose of the entire Torah. Therefore, the Zohar calls the mitzvos, 613 counsels, because they are 613 counsels for attaining emunah. The Meor V'Shemesh (Ki Savo) writes, "I heard from the Rebbe of Neschiz zt'l that people go to tzaddikim for various reasons. Some go to tzaddikim to learn to pray with love and fear. Others go to tzaddikim to learn to study Torah lishmah. And there are those who want to reach high levels. But these aren't the primary reasons we go to tzaddikim. The primary purpose is to know Hashem and to be aware of His presence. There is no limit to this awareness. The more one knows of Hashem, the more he realizes that he doesn’t know anything. Every day, he will seek to increase this awareness, more and more."

Notes: The Midrash (Devarim Rabba 4:5) states, "Hashem says, listen to Me, because no one ever listened to Me and lost." By listening to Hashem's will, one always gains. The following stories are examples of that principle: A community near Monsey was renovating their beis medresh (study hall). They decided, "If we're spending thousands of dollars to make our beis medresh more beautiful, it would be proper that we should also invest in checking and beautifying the sefer Torah." A sofer reviewed the sefer Torah, and discovered that it was pasul (not valid). He said it would cost five thousand dollars to fix it. The rosh hakahal (financial president of the community) refused to give so much money. "I'll pay you five hundred dollars, but not a penny more." It didn’t really make sense. He was paying tens of thousands of dollars to beautify the beis medresh, but for the most important part of the beis medresh – the sefer Torah – he wasn't ready to spend money. The sofer explained to the rosh hakahal the immense work involved in fixing the sefer Torah, but he didn’t care. He refused to pay more than five hundred dollars. The sofer called up a colleague and requested help towards correcting the sefer Torah. He said, "This community is using a pasul sefer Torah, and if we don’t fix it, they will continue using it. Let's work together to make the sefer Torah kosher. We will only be paid five hundred dollars — but we'll do it for Hashem's sake… For a mitzvah." His friend agreed. On the day they completed fixing the sefer Torah, satisfied that they were able to do this mitzvah, they began their trek home to Monsey. Walking back to Monsey, they needed the restroom. The only restroom in the area was in a Christian cemetery, so they went there. The guard stationed at the entrance asked for their name, address, and telephone numbers. The men gave the information and went inside. A few weeks later, they received a phone call from a lawyer. At first, they were afraid that they were being accused of some crime, but the lawyer was telling them that they would receive $62,000. On that day they were in the cemetery, a funeral of a wealthy person was taking place. This wealthy man didn’t leave any heirs, so he stipulated in his will that his money should be distributed among those who attended his funeral. Being that they had registered with the guard at the entrance, they were endowed with this large sum of money. This story is an example of, “No one ever listened to Me and lost out.” They self sacrificed to help a congregation have a kosher sefer Torah, and Hashem paid them for their dedication.

In communist Russia there was a Jew whose job was to polish diamonds. One day, on the way to work, he passed a beis medresh — one of the only ones left in the country. Usually, the beis medresh was empty during the week, but that day, someone was outside, pleading with him to come inside to complete a minyan. "It’s my father's yahrtzeit (annual remembrance on the day of the passing) today and I need a minyan to say Kaddish..." The diamond polisher made a quick calculation. If I help him, I can still be on time to work, so he entered the beis medresh. He thought he would be the tenth man, but as it turned out, he was the eighth. They had to wait some time until ten people were gathered. After the first Kaddish the diamond polisher headed towards the door. The person with yahrtzeit begged him to stay for the entire prayer. The diamond polisher didn’t want to break this man's heart, so he said he would stay as long as he could. He kept his eye on the clock, and stayed until the end of the prayer. When they finished praying everyone was invited to enjoy some cake and vodka l'iluy nishmas (in the memory of) the niftar (the one who passed away) whose yahrtzeit was that day, but the diamond polisher explained that he can't be late for work and couldn’t stay any longer. He raced to the diamond center, but before he got there, an acquaintance who worked with him in the diamond center stopped him in the street. "You must run away from here! Everyone inside was arrested!" He escaped, and managed to come to Eretz Yisrael. This story is another example of, "No one ever loses out when obeying Hashem's will.

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