Welcome, once again to the mysteries and depths of our holy Torah: the mysteries of the פרה אדומה Red Heifer, Miriam’s well, the passing on of Aharon HaKohen, the mystery of Moshe Rabbeinu hitting the rock… and there are more and more. These mysteries touch every secret every mystery of our lives.
In this blog, we bring some ideas to make this relevant for us today
This week’s parsha is called “ChuKat”, [which is the word “Chok” in the construct state.]
The mitzvot can be categorized in a variety of ways. One way is to distinguish between ‘chukim’ and ‘mishpatim’. ‘Mishpatim’ are mitzvot that we can grasp or understood intellectually, e.g. don’t steal, don’t go tale-bearing, etc. ‘Chukim’, on the other hand, are mitzvot that are partially understood, but only partially. In the case of the Red Heifer, we cannot understand the mitzvah at all, and therefore it is distinguished by the phrase, “zot ChuKaT Hatorah”,
Message for Today – We live in a world where things are not rational and not understood with many contradictions. All the machlokes in the world starts to take place when there is a lack of clarity, when there is no one to ‘meva’er’ (give over) the Torah. So here Reb Nachman says that all the people who explain the Torah are called Morim (Teachers). Morim comes from the word ‘Miriam’, because Miriam was the one who had the well. Therefore, if you want to explain the Torah, your words have to be on the level of fire; the words have to be ‘K’gachalei Eish’, like a coal of fire.
You can drink all the cool, refreshing water you want, but at some point, you have to accept the fact that to face the divine means to embrace fire. Sooner or later, in one’s relationship with G‑d, the study of Torah must move from academic detachment to personal exhilaration and passion. And this excitement is only to be found by studying the Torah’s inner dimensions, its spiritual truths, and esoteric secrets.
And this happens with the opening of the high heart, the lev ha’elyon.
What is lev ha’eelyon (Higher heart) ? Reb Nachman says there is something called a lev ha’elyon and lev hatachton. In my heart itself there are two compartments – a lower heart and a higher heart.
‘hadibur Nimshach Milev Ha’elyon’. The lower heart has to do with learning, the high heart is all about crying and davening. Why is it when someone pours out their hearts they are moved? Which heart of them is moved? The high heart. Words which come from the high heart are always hot like fiery coals. When you talk with your low heart the words you speak are cold, when you talk with your high heart – your words are fire.
So Reb Nachman says that when you teach Torah, it has to be on the level of compassion. Not on the level of love or on the level of strength, but it has to be on the level of compassion. Loving or strength, which are the attributes of chesed or gevurah, can still be with my low heart. Compassion comes from my high heart. To teach with love is a very high level, but compassion is giving on the high heart level.
Reb Nachman says that before you learn you have to pour out your heart in order to open the high heart. After this happens, G-d opens the high heart and your words become hot like coals. Something happens to you; you open your inside ‘well’ and then your words start to flow like water from a well. The words themselves become infinite words, which are mamesh flowing.
Question to ponder – Just like we plan before we do something, Do we pray before we do something important?
So what happens in our parsha? Right before Moshe Rabbeinu hits the stone he says ‘Shim’u Na Hamorim’, literally saying ‘listen up rebels’. What did he mean?
From here we see that Moshe made the mistake in the way of teaching. Moshe Rabbeinu thought you can teach by force. G-d told him “no, you can’t teach by force. You have to teach by the level of compassion.”
We know that the water we received in the desert was in the merit of Miriam, but Miriam was not just giving the water, she was giving the well, the Be’er of the Torah, the explanation of the Torah. You can only really explain Torah when every word of the Torah is deep in my heart like the well, it has to come from a well, from the deepest depths of me. It is only then that I understand the Torah, and only then I can expand the words. But if G-d forbid the well stops then the words become cold, and then when the words become cold – fighting begins.
Now, I want to share the deepest depths. How much can we pour out our hearts to another person? I can tell you everything which happened to me all night long, but how much can I tell you the deepest of my own heart? It’s very hard. But imagine I’m able to pour out my heart in front of all of Israel…
In order to make the stone give water, can you imagine how much I have to pour out my heart and beg the stone to listen so that even a stone should be moved? Gevalt is that deep. In order to move a stone, you have to pour out your heart in the deepest way. The question is, are you that close to Am Yisrael that you can do it in front of all of Israel? What was G-d really telling Moshe when he says ‘Vedibartem El Hasela Le’einehem’? Can you pour out your heart like that to all of Israel? Are you that close to all of them?
Reb Shlomo Speaking: I want to say a gevalt Torah. On Rosh Hashonna we are pouring out our heart before the whole world, Meloch Al Kol Ha’olam Kulo. On Yom Kippur we pour out our heart before every Jew in the world. Succos, I like to sit there with my whole family and pour out my heart with my whole family. Then Simchas Torah. But what I want to say is if Moshe Rabbeinu would have poured out his heart he would have brought so much love among the Yidden, Mashiach would have come; he would have gone to Eretz Yisrael. See, the truth is the time wasn’t right for Mashiach yet. So, what I want to say is Moshe doesn’t go into Eretz Yisrael because the time isn’t there yet, but if he would have spoken to the stone he would have brought Mashiach.
Ok, let us go back … I want to go one step deeper, you know. There is one thing: pouring out your heart before somebody else; but then the deepest, deepest, deepest depths is to pour out your heart before your own self.
As adapted on material prepared by Rabbi Shlomo Katz – https://soundcloud.com/carlebach-legacy/are-you-ready-to-go-into-mud-rabbi-shlomo-carlebach-on-chukat
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