|From The Rebbe's Tish: BP & Korach|
|Written by Rabbi Shmuel Brazil|
The roshei taivos BP has taken over the headlines in the news lately. No, it doesn’t stand for Boro Park as some people probably erroneously think but rather it is the company responsible for the most colossal oil spill in history. However just like Boro Park is local and relevant to all Yidden someway or another, so do Yidden must view the BP oil spill as a wake up call relating to every Yid no matter where he lives. The ripple effect of this disaster has already reached with its tentacles to far away places beyond the Gulf of Mexico and it has not ceased to spread its destruction out even further.
If there is a sign close to home that heralds in the coming of Mashiach, “well,” this is it. Those who just finished Sanhedrin in the daf Yomi will remember on daf 88 that right before Mashiach Hashem will fill the rivers and seas with oil and the fish will die. Incredible! To make such a definite statement over 15 centuries back would not have been fathomed in one’s wildest dream and yet here it is being fulfilled day by day moment to moment. Another oil phenomenon that was hinted about over hundreds of years ago was what Rav Chaim Vital wrote in Tehillim on the passuk לולי ה' שהיה עלינו בקום עלינו אדם Tehillim 124,2. He writes that Yishmael is the fifth galus subjugating Yisrael and they are called adam because they have bris milah. Even though they are Bedouins and have no power or wold influence one day they will rule over the world. Rav Chaim wrote such prophetic words hundreds of years ago. Even 60 years ago such a statement would have seen utterly ridiculous. Yet today the Arab world through the control of their oil possessions, rule the world.
Oil in lashan hakodesh is equivalent to עול. Are we really accepting the daily yoke of Torah and mitzvos upon ourselves? In the על חטא we mention our failure for פריקת עול throwing off this yoke. Even though we recite shema Could it be that at some instances like at work we do not accept this wholeheartedly by saying that in the work place this עול must be modified or compromised? Could the same apply to the way we make our simchas that the עול has slightly been repressed. Well maybe this spill over is sending us the message that the עול מלכות שמים has to emerge from its hiding place.
Fish are modestly hidden for their habitat is under the water and they are concealed. The middah of tzenius is Am Yisrael’s salient characteristic that has persevered us throughout history and the immodest cultures. The fish symbolize propagation as the beracha to Yosef was given וידגו לרוב בקרב הארץ. This teaches us that these matters of tzenius must be conducted with modesty in all its aspects from the fashion that one dresses to the way one conducts himself or herself with the other gender. There has been lately alarming kol koreis of the breaking of this once bastion of modesty amongst individuals who until presently have been conscious not to cross this line. In these kol koreys they quote the Chafetz Chaim who writes that many of our tzaros such as sicknesses and the premature death of young children chas vashalom are caused by the compromising of our strict standards in modesty. Hashem maybe is also posting His kol korei about this issue. Due the oil spill, the fish whowere once concealed in their modesty have now surfaced to the open eye and float lifeless ultimately washing upon the shores of the beaches.
In this weeks parsha we find that Korach, who rebelled against Moshe Rabbeinu and his Torah, was swallowed up by the mouth of the earth. The mouth of the oil is open wide and the oil that flows from it is swallowing up whatever it comes in contact with.. Maybe our mouths are open too much and from it we allow to flow destruction, words that pain other people, words of insults, words of lashan harah etc. Once the oil is out the cleanup job is very difficult and almost impossible. The lashon hakodesh equivalent of BP is בי פי .in me there is a mouth. Do we sometimes become the פי הארץ and because of our speech we swallow up and verbally abuse our spouses, children, friends? Maybe it’s time to make a change in the way we communicate and to ensure that our words are of the constructive nature rather than a destructive one.
To be very honest, no one can say exactly why this disaster has happened. Oh yes, we do know that it was man made and not natural. However his knowledge sort of removes many of us from the teshuva mode for the disaster can be easily attributed to human error. However, the gemarrah in Sanhedrin and Rav Chaim Vital negates this very clearly. This catastrophic disaster is no other than a severe wake up call from Hashem. It is not a one day disaster or even a week. It has started in April and continues until today bringing its havoc upon more and more people. The Muslim World and the Oil are intensely amplifying its destruction right on our doorsteps so we better start shaping up. Believe me when I say that would rather write some nice dvar Torah and make everyone smile and say geshmak and insightful. I am sure the Neviim of Klal Yisrael would have also wanted to do the same. A navi I am not. But I am a Yid, who takes to heart whaet I learned in that gemarah and in Rav Chaim Vital. We all must be acutely aware and understand that Iran is sending its navy with the next flotilla to deliberately start a war with Am Yisrael and bring the entire world against us. How much further evidence do we need to stir us to initiate rethinking our lives and make a few changes in order to change the natural flow of statistics which stack up against us.
BP. It is interesting that in every letterפ as it is written in the Torah and tefillin, the white of the letter forms the letter ב.. The final “Pay” day is around the corner. The oil is out and the fish are dead. Yishmael are prepared. What about our preparation? Avraham Freid began his concerts by first questioning his audience Are You Ready? Hashem is now the One who is asking all of us before the greatest concert of the universe Are You Ready. Now is the time to respond in the affirmative.