Friends — We hope you enjoy this commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach on Parsha Shemini. Pls make sure to share this with all those who you think would appreciate it.
I want you to know, it says “Vayehi Bayom Hashmini.” It was on the eight day.
How does time work? Everybody knows there are seven days in a week, and then again seven days and again seven days. What’s the 8th day? And what is the holy of holiest all about?
You know friends, in a crazy way, we all want everything, but you know what we really want? We want something which we don’t know about. We have a feeling there is something in the world, which we don’t know of yet, and that’s the deepest in the world. Okay, I know that I need my money in the bank, I need this more, I need that more -it’s all very special. But then “Vayihee Bayom Hashmini,” it’s not even part of the world. I am looking for something, I’m longing for something and I don’t know what it is.
And I want you to know, like the Gemara says “Ha’Aron Eino Min Hamida”, the Aron really didn’t fit it’s measurements. It really doesn’t exist and it does exist in such a strong way.
I want you to know; you know what’s happening to the world, they are looking for is special something in all the wrong places.
And here I want you to know something, the deepest depths.
This parsha begins with Vayehi Bayom Hashmini .
You know what the holiness of our children is?
They are looking for the 8th day before they even know about the 7 days.
They have this deep longing for something; they just don’t know what it is. But you know what the Torah says? The Ribbono Shel Olam has it for you. Don’t run to Hollywood, don’t go to a discotheque, don’t run to India. It’s right there and this is the holy of Holies; Mamesh there for you.
And you know what Nadav & Avihu brought down to the world? They mamesh brought down “Eish Zara Asher Loh Tziva Hashem.” They brought down to the world that even if a little yidele is holding in his hands unholy fires, if he is mamesh consumed by the unholy fires he should have the chutzpah to run into the Holy of Holies and say Ribbono Shel Olam, this is not what I really want. You know what I really want? I want mamesh “Vayehi Bayom Hashmini.” I want something so holy. I want something sooo deep. I want something which the whole world doesn’t know exists.
* * *
You know friends, we are living in a world where there is so much longing for the eighth day.
Take the whole generation of the 60s; they weren’t looking for the 7th day, they were looking for the 8th day. And then nebech, they lost faith in the world and they decided ok, let’s cut out, there is no 8th day. Let’s be happy with the 7 days. Now it’s a little bit in the middle. You know why they were so angry at their parents? Because their parents never told them about the 8th day and if any of those kids would have talked to their parents about the 8th day they would tell them to send them to a psychiatrist. It’s true, not even joking.
Everybody knows that Nadav and Avihu went into the neshama of Eliyahu Hanavi. What’s Eliyahu Hanavi all about? Eliyahu Hanavi brings peace between parents and children. What’s Eliyahu Hanavi telling your parents? You know when your children are so angry at you? Because you didn’t tell them about the Kodesh Kodashim and you didn’t tell them Vayehi Bayom Hashmini, you didn’t tell them that a Jew can run into the holy of Holiest from the lowest place in the world. Always, always. And I want to bless you and me that this should be the first thing we are giving over to our children.
And I want to say a gevalt Torah. You know, when a woman gives birth to children for a little while she doesn’t go into the holy of Holies, to the Beis Hamikdash. I just want to put it into different words. First comes parshas Veyahi Bayom hashmini, and then comes Parshas Tazria, when a mother can’t come to the Beis Hamikdash after birth.
I want to say a gevalt Torah.
You know what the mother is telling her children? Even if I can’t even go to the Beis Hamikdash right now, to the Eighth day I could always go. To the Kodesh Kodashim you can always run; and the mother says to the child look at me, look at me! Come with me to the 8th day.
You know what children are all about? Children are the eighth day, children are Kodesh Kodashim. A mother says I don’t care if I cannot go to the Beis Hamikdash for a little while. I tasted the holy of Holies; it keeps me going. Do you know what the mother says to her children? Believe me; I can be an outcast but I will never be an outcast because I have children.
* * *
I want you to know something. You know what Nadav & Avihu wanted? They wanted that a yid should take the fire from the street and mamesh run into the holy of holies and stay there.
You know what it is? They basically wanted that the yidele should taste the holy of holies for one second and it should carry him further.
* * *
According to some of our great rabbis, Nadav and Avihu died because they were not married. So the Ishbitser says, what’s the whole thing of a house? When you find something beautiful you hide it in the house.
So they had nowhere to hide it. The Ishbitser says that if they would have had a house they would have been married. If they would have a house, they would have a place where to hide this revelation but they had no vessels to hide it so it just blew them up.
Now listen closely friends. All the hatred in the world comes from the cheyt Eitz Hada’as, from always judging if something is good or bad. When you are on the level of Eitz Hachayim it’s a different thing. Criticism comes from the Tree of Knowledge, but it brings death into the world. But the Eitz Hachayim tells you how do you know what’s written behind all of this and you don’t know. You get into it later, just at the beginning to cover the ground.
You know what I want to tell you, it’s the most important thing is that the question, the deepest question in the world is how much is the Torah yours; how much is the Torah yours and how much, and how much are you guarding it, how much are you covering it up that nobody should take it away?
I want to say a Gevalt Torah. Adam Harishon, mamesh he had the Torah. G-d says to him, don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge; just eat from the Tree of Life, that was his Torah.
Remember there’s an unbelievable story of one of the Baal Shem Tov’s Talmidim. One of the greatest, one of the holy of holiest; one Rosh Hashonna he got very sick and he was mamesh geferlecht, sick. So the doctor says there is one thing you have to promise me, you won’t eat herring because G-d forbid, you’ll die from it.
So everybody went to shul and he was left alone. He could barely move. Suddenly he had a herring attack. He was never crazy about food, he was completely out of it. You know what he did? He threw himself down from the bed because he couldn’t walk; he crawled on all four to the herring and then when he had the herring in his hand –he says, this is crazy. Even when I’m healthy I’m not like this; what’s happening to me.
Then he said to the holy Baal Shem, told him the story.
The Baal Shem says, you were so sick you were patur from all the mitzvahs. There was only one mitzvah you had –“ushmartem me’od lenafshoseichem,” -you shouldn’t eat herring.
So the “Samech Mem,” brother Devil, put all his energy into this one mitzvah. It’s unbelievable.
But you know, it’s so deep, Adam Harishon – why did he eat from the Tree of Knowledge? Whatever we have now which is divided into 613 mitzvahs was everything in this one.
Why didn’t he guard it? You know why? Because it was not his Torah yet. If it would have been his Torah he would have guarded it so much.
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