A Happy World
Transcribed from Tape #371
THE GREAT MAN SERVES HIS GUESTS
In mesichta Kiddushin (32b) an episode is related. מעשה ברבי אליעזר ורבי יהושע ורבי צדוק, it happened that these three chachomim, שהיו מסובין בבית המשתה בנו של רבן גמליאל, that they were present at the feast of the wedding of the son of Rabban Gamliel. והיה רבן גמליאל עומד ומשקה עליהם, and Rabban Gamliel, the nasi – that was the leader of the whole Am Yisrael and also the rosh yeshiva. In those days the nasi was the rosh mesivta also; he was the head of the Am Yisrael and the chief of the chachmei Hatorah. So he was standing over them u’mashkeh aleihen, and he was pouring wine into their cups. He was serving them. נתן הכוס לר’ אליעזר ולא נטלו, he handed a cup of wine to Rabbi Eliezer, but Rabbi Eliezer refused to take it. He didn’t want the nasi to serve him. נתנו לר’ יהושע וקיבלו, but when he gave it to Rabbi Yehoshua, he accepted.
אמר לו רבי אליעזר, Rabbi Eliezer said to Rabbi Yehoshua, מה זה יהושע, what is this Yehoshua? אנו יושבין ורבן גמליאל עומד ומשקה עלינו, we should sit and Rabban Gamliel should stand and serve us? אמר ליה, so Rabbi Yehoshua answered why are you surprised? מצינו גדול ממנו ששמש, we find a greater man who served his guests. אברהם גדול הדור היה, Avraham was the greatest man in his generation, he was recognized even by the gentiles. נשיא אלקים אתה בתוכינו, “You are the one elevated by Hashem” (Bereishis 23:6). Everyone recognized that Avraham was the greatest. And about him it’s written, והוא עומד עליהם, he was standing over them, under the tree as they reclined and they ate. So if Avraham Avinu could stand and serve his guests, then surely Rabban Gamliel could.
Now the truth is however, that Avraham’s guests were malachim, they weren’t human beings. ושמא תאמרו כמלאכי השרת נדמו לו, so you might say that they appeared to him as malachim, and therefore to serve an angel is not surprising. לא נדמו לו אלא לערביים, no, they appeared to him like ordinary nomads, Arab nomads. And he still poured into their cups! ואנו לא יהא רבן גמליאל ברבי עומד ומשקה עלינו, so why shouldn’t Rabban Gamliel stand and pour into our cups?
HASHEM SERVES HIS GUESTS
Now there was a third chacham sitting there who had been silent until now, Rabbi Tzadok. אמר להם רבי צדוק, so he spoke up and he said, עד מתי אתם מניחים כבודו של מקום, how long will you neglect the honor of the Almighty, ואתם עוסקים בכבוד הבריות, and be busy with giving honor to human beings? You’re talking about the honor of Avraham; his greatness that he stood over his guests. Why don’t you mention Hakadosh Baruch Hu?! הקב”ה משיב רוחות ומעלה נשיאים, Hakadosh Baruch Hu causes winds to blow and He transports clouds, ומוריד מטר, and from them He brings down rain, ומצמיח אדמה, and it causes the earth to sprout with vegetation. ועורך שולחן לפני כל אחד ואחד, and He sets a table before everyone in the world. Everyone in the world is seated at the table of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu is serving him. What Rabbi Tzadok was saying is, why do you have to go for a precedent to Avraham? Why is Avraham Avinu your proof? You should go to Hakadosh Baruch Hu Himself. He was the first one. Hakodosh Boruch Hu is standing over us serving us all the time. לא יהא רבן גמליאל ברבי עומד ומשקה עלינו, so shouldn’t Rabban Gamliel stand and serve us?
WHY DID AVRAHAM LOWER HIMSELF SO MUCH?
That’s the end of that episode. What happened after that I’m not able to tell you. However, this braisah says a good deal. First of all we learn the greatness of Avraham Avinu. Now the question is, is it proper for a person who is superior, to be servile, to cringe, to make himself lowly before ordinary strangers? These nomads weren’t virtuous people in Avraham’s eyes. They seemed like ordinary idolaters, משתחווין לאבק שברגליהן, and therefore it’s a question: why did Avraham lower his dignity to stand over them?
That’s not a simple question. To the modern liberal mind it seems why not? Here is a Jewish woman standing on the street corner and she sees a bum playing guitar, an ordinary bum, so she goes into raptures, “Oh, isn’t that beautiful? What talent!” she says. Of course we understand the motives behind that, to lick the boots of the underprivileged, because these underprivileged people could give her a punch in the nose too. In the New York Times today you’ll find an overemphasis of kindliness to the so called underprivileged. Well this is garbage that we’ll dispense with.
But actually why should somebody who is dignified and important, grovel and lick the boots of somebody who is beneath him? Why should anyone run out and serve wayfarers who are nobodies? And the truth is, it’s a very big question. It’s a kasha on Avraham Avinu. We accept it because we learned it when we were children, and even adults who follow the hypocritical liberal tradition, “Why not?” they say. “Be kindly to everybody!”
But the question is; isn’t there a certain kind of dignity that a person has earned and he deserves to maintain it? You’re going to lower yourself before every nobody? We have to understand that. Avraham was nesi Elokim. He was elevated by Elokim, the prince of Hashem. It’s a big kasha, it’s not a simple matter. We have to worry about the answer because it’s very important to know why Avraham did what he did.
AVRAHAM WAS JUST FOLLOWING HASHEM’S FOOTSTEPS
And the answer is given in this braisah. Avraham didn’t do it because of them. Avraham did it for a very great and sublime purpose. He did it because Hakadosh Baruch Hu does it. Now we have to understand that; what’s the motive behind this, what’s the principle behind this? It’s a very big and important principle.
But before we proceed with the subject we’ll put this away for a moment and we’ll see what the gemara says in mesichta Kesubos on this subject. In mesichta Kesubos (8a) we learn about the brachos that are made for a chassan and kallah at the chupah, and also at the sheva brachos that are said at the wedding feasts. So after borei pri hagefen you say baruch atah Hashem Elokeinu Melech haolam shehakol bara l’chvodo — who created everything for His glory.
WHY IS THIS PART OF THE SHEVA BRACHOS?
Now the question is what does that have to do with a wedding? If you look at the other brachos they deal with the subject of Adam and Chava, chassan and kallah. Those we understand. But the first bracha- shehakol bara l’chvodo, He made everything for His glory, that has nothing to do with the wedding.
And Rashi explains as follows: Shehakol bara l’chvodo aino min haseder, it doesn’t belong to this order of the brachos. It has nothing to do with the wedding. Elah l’asifas ha’am hane’esafim sham, it’s only because of the people who have gathered here today at the wedding. And their purpose in gathering was ligmol chesed, to do kindliness. They gathered here to bestow kindliness on the chosson and on the kallah. Now listen to the following words of Rashi — Why did people gather to do kindliness? To us it doesn’t seem any question at all. Why not? But it’s a question. Why should so many people waste their time, come together and gather to do kindliness to the chosson and the kallah? So Rashi explains: we gather together to do kindness zeicher l’chasdei haMakom, as a memorial to the kindness of the Al-mighty, she’nahag im Adam Harishon, that’s how Hakadosh Baruch Hu behaved to the very first man. The first man was getting married, so Hakadosh Baruch Hu got busy, shenaaseh lo shushbin, He became his unterfihrer. Hakadosh Baruch got busy as the friend and the companion of the chassan and the kallah. V’nisasek bo, and He was busy with Adam.
HASHEM BECOMES A HAIRDRESSER
Now how was He busy? That deserves some explanation. Among the things, Hakadosh Baruch Hu was a hairdresser. Vayiven es hatzeila, He built up Chava. What do you mean built her up? Not only He made her pretty, but He built up her hair (Shabbos 95a).
Before Chava appeared to Adam Hakodosh Boruch Hu piled up her hair, he made braids in her hair. To us it seems it’s just a camouflage to have all these little curls and dreidelach; they’re all false things. But actually, it’s essential. When you’re going to present a kallah to the chosson you have to put on as much as you can of packaging, because no matter how much you’ll package, it’ll never be more than the article itself is worth. And you have to advertise all that you can. And Hakadosh Baruch Hu packaged Chava so efficiently that Adam fell in love with her.
CHAVA IS CLOTHED IN SPLENDOR
Now Adam would have fallen in love with Chava anyhow; there was nobody else! And still Hakadosh Baruch Hu busied Himself. And it says vayivie’ha el Adam, and He brought her to Adam. He brought her! What do you mean He brought her? It means that when Chava appeared to Adam, it was something special, something without comparison. It’s something that even the modern caterers couldn’t imitate. All of a sudden she appeared out of nowhere in a blaze of light. The shechina was surrounding her. Adam took a look and he was blinded by the splendor of his future intended. It was as if the shechina was coming with her. Vayivie’ha el Adam, Hashem brought her to Adam!
So here was Chava coming down the aisle, her hair was piled up beautifully, and all around here there was the splendor of the shechina. And that’s what Hakadosh Baruch Hu did, among other things. He busied Himself. Now He could have said “Adam, I created you, go over in that corner, you’ll find somebody waiting for you.” She could have sat there, a plain creature. What could Adam do? He would have taken her. But no, Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave it to him in a most beautiful and appealing manner.
A MEMORIAL TO THE FIRST WEDDING
And therefore we come together at a wedding for what purpose? Like zecher l’Yetzias Mitzrayim, or like a memorial to the giving of the Torah on Shavuos. At a wedding you come together, it’s a memorial of the first wedding, to remember and to demonstrate to the world what Hakadosh Baruch Hu did in His kindliness to the first man and the first woman. It’s a demonstration of the chasdei haMakom. Again, zecher l’chasdei haMakom, says Rashi. The wedding guests come to demonstrate their belief that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is chofetz chesed. It’s a demonstration that Hakadosh Baruch Hu made the world for kindliness, that He is kindliness. Hodu l’Hashem ki tov, He is good. He is everything good. And by coming together here tonight, or whenever the chasuna takes place, that’s what we’re saying to the whole world.
V’asifa zu kavod haMakom hu, and this gathering is a glory for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. U’bracha zu l’kach niskina, and that’s why this bracha was instituted. So the first bracha, shehakol bara l’chvodo, is not in honor of the chosson and kallah, but it’s in honor of the people who came here to make a demonstration. And what are they demonstrating? That Hakadosh Baruch Hu is chofetz chesed.
LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT HASHEM IS ALL CHESED
Now we’re learning here a big principle; that it’s important to let the world know that the Creator intended kindliness. We must advertise that. We must feel it’s part of our duty in life to speak to mankind, to everybody; of course first to ourselves, then next to our fellow Jews. But even the nations have to know that. The world must be told that this is a world that Hashem created for a purpose of chesed. Like Dovid Hamelech said olam chesed yibaneh, the world was created for chesed.
Now when Avraham Avinu looked out of his doorway on a very hot day and he saw that it was impossible for any wayfarers to be out today; it’s too hot. So he became very depressed, very dispirited, because Avraham had a purpose in life. You know what his purpose was? Hodu l’Hashem kiru b’shemo, proclaim in His name. Like it says vayikra b’shem Hashem. Wherever he went, he called out in the name of Hashem. Look in the chumash, it’s reiterated again and again. Wherever he went he proclaimed in the name of Hashem.
AVRAHAM AVINU TEACHES GROWN MEN TO SAY A BRACHA!
And what did he tell them? We know what he told them. Avraham planted an orchard in which all luscious fruits grew, beautiful fruit grew. Avraham spent time on it. An orchard doesn’t grow of itself. He gave part of his life to develop that orchard. And when wayfarers came, Avraham seated them in the shade of the trees and he plucked the choicest fruits and he gave it to them. And they ate and they enjoyed them, and then they said, “We wish to express our gratitude to you.” So he said “No; thank the Master of this garden.” And they said where is the master? And he said “there”, and he pointed upwards. And he explained to them and they all repeated after him the words: “We thank You our G-O-D, the Master of the world, who created the fruit of the trees.”
And that was Avraham’s accomplishment, that’s what he wanted from his orchard. It was a demonstration. Of what? It was a demonstration of the kindness of Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And now we know why Avraham, when he looked out and he saw nobody was walking on the road that hot day, that he felt his life was being wasted. His purpose in life was to teach mankind this principle!
DOING KINDNESSES TO EVERYONE
So you’ll say, “That’s all?! Aren’t there so many other things to teach?” Certainly! But all that Avraham was going to teach were subdivisions of this great main heading. And the heading is ki chofetz chesed hu, He wants kindliness. And therefore Hakadosh Baruch Hu had pity on Avraham and He sent him the only wayfarers, the only travelers who could brave that terrible heat. Three malachim and they appeared like ordinary persons. When Avraham saw ordinary people he was overjoyed, at the opportunity to show kindliness to ordinary people because he knew that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave us ordinary people so much happiness, and he wanted to make a demonstration of that chesed.
So in order to demonstrate zecher l’chasdei haMakom, Avraham wanted to set up a monument in honor of the kindliness of Hashem. Now, how do you set up a monument? Let’s say, suppose a man was a general on horseback, and he led his soldiers in a charge that conquered the enemy. So you won’t make a statue of him posing let’s say behind a desk with a typewriter. No, if you want to make a statue of him in bronze, you have to put him on a horse. That’s the pose in which he was when he accomplished his great feat.
So Avraham Avinu wanted to make a monument for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And he could have made a monument by calling in people and telling them sit down, and he would give them sefarim. Let’s say he’d hand them Chovos Halevavos Shaar Habechina, and each one would sit down and he’d tell them to read now and we’ll study how beautiful the dandelion is, the golden little flower that comes in the springtime. And even though it’s so lowly and close to the dirt, still its color is not sullied. It shines out brightly and it gladdens the hearts of the passersby if they want to take a moment to look at it. And it grows out of cracks in the cement, even when it seems that there’s no soil. Still it struggles to sneak its way out because it wants to accomplish its mission in life, to teach the world the beauty that Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants to bestow on them. Avraham could have spoken for hours while his travelers would sit there and struggle with their thirst and with their hunger, but they’re getting something important. It pays to listen to that.
AVRAHAM CREATED A MONUMENT OF HASHEM’S CHESED
But no, Avraham didn’t do that. Avraham immediately said, “Come in and eat, and come and drink. And that is the monument, that’s zecher l’chasdei haMakom. It’s what Hakadosh Baruch Hu does. Before Hakadosh Baruch Hu teaches you any Torah, the first thing is that He gives you something to eat and drink. For years and years we eat and drink before we learn any Torah. Let’s say you’re a precocious child and you begin learning at the age of three, but for three years you’ve been eating and drinking. And so Avraham created a monument of this chesed, and that was his purpose in life.
And that’s why it’s not a question of Avraham’s dignity. Certainly a man shouldn’t lower himself for nobodies. But when you’re doing it l’chasdei haMakom, you’re not doing it for the nobodies – you’re doing it for Hakodosh Boruch Hu. You’re a monument of Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And that’s the real monument, the monument of the chasdei Hashem. And that’s why when they were sitting at the table of Rabban Gamliel and the question was raised: Is it proper to allow such a great man as Rabban Gamliel, the leader of the Am Yisrael, to be a waiter for us? So Rabbi Eliezer who was a man of strict principles, he said nothing doing. I’ll refuse to take. It could be that at the end he also refused; he stuck by his principle.
THERE WAS NO ONE AS ORIGINAL AS AVRAHAM AVINU
But Rabbi Yehoshua said, “If Rabbi Gamliel is serving us, you have to know he is doing it because he wants to demonstrate something. He wants to demonstrate the greatness of our father Avraham. It’s a monument to Avraham Avinu. That itself is a great thing. We should not forget the greatness of our forefathers. Who was Avraham Avinu? Why was he chosen? A man who was most original. Never again was there a human who had so much originality as Avraham Avinu. Even Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t as original. Moshe Rabbeinu is included in talmidav shel Avraham Avinu. He’s a disciple. But the very first was this great man Avraham. And therefore Rabban Gamliel was demonstrating the greatness of our father. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Here is a wedding and the nasi steps forward. The nasi, the most wealthy man too, he was a billionaire, Rabban Gamliel. Besides being the raish mesivta. And he had the most power. And he is pouring wine for everyone and with this, he was demonstrating who our father Avraham Avinu was. That’s a beautiful thing to do. It certainly is worthwhile for itself.
That’s why it’s important to start shemoneh esrei with thoughts about Avraham Avinu. It’s a lost opportunity when you say Magen Avraham without thinking who Avraham was. וזוכר חסדי אבות, Hashem remembers the exceptional devoted deeds. Chasdei Avos means the exceptionally devoted deeds of the fathers. Chasdei means chassidus, of the Avos, how they were devoted. And Hashem will never forget their exceptionally devoted deeds.
LET’S SPEAK ABOUT AVRAHAM AVINU
So let us ourselves remember it too. We want Hakadosh Baruch Hu to remember Avraham, so what about our remembering him? We have to think about Avraham. We have to speak to our children about Avraham Avinu. We have to tell them the gemaras, the medrashim, in addition to the pesukim. Who was our first father? It’s important. And therefore the nasi went out of his way to make a demonstration, “This is what Avraham Avinu did! He stood over lesser people than him and he poured wine into their cups.
But Rabbi Tzadok said, “That’s right, there’s no question about it that we have to memorialize the greatness of our Avos. But in the meantime you’re neglecting the main purpose of life that Avraham Avinu had come to understand. You’re neglecting the reason why Avraham did what he did. How long will you forsake the glory of Hakadosh Baruch Hu and busy yourself with the glory of men?” The truth is, it’s not wrong. The glory of people like Avraham Avinu is the glory of Hakadosh Baruch Hu. But that’s only if you understand that. That’s only if when you learn the parshios, when you sit in the shul and hear the kriyas Hatorah, and you see what Avraham is doing and you realize that it’s all a demonstration, a proclamation of kavod shamayim. That’s something else, yes. But to just think it’s a story about Avraham Avinu and you’ll forget the purpose of this story, so you’re forsaking, you’re neglecting the kavod haMakom. That’s what Rabbi Tzadok said to them.
THE REAL WAY TO CHECK YOUR MEZUZOS
So therefore let’s get back to the first cause. Always come back to the first cause! Isn’t it a pity that human beings get lost, they get involved in secondary things? They’re important, of course. Torah and mitzvos, chukim and mishpatim, everything is wonderful! But don’t forget the first cause, Hakadosh Baruch Hu Himself! It’s wonderful to put on tefillin; people spend a lot of time seeing if they have kosher tefillin. Some people look in mirrors, constantly they’re fixing their tefillin, putting it back on the right place on their head. They’re running to the sofer to have the tefillin checked. Wonderful! But what do the tefillin say however? Tefillin say something. Tefillin say v’ahavta es Hashem Elokecha, you should love Hashem. That’s what the tefillin are saying. Are you listening to what the tefillin are telling you?!
And the mezuzah too. Here’s a man who’s worried about his mezuzos. He takes it off frequently and he buys new ones. He hears that a good sofer came from Eretz Yisrael, so he runs over there: “Maybe I should check my mezuzos again. Maybe I have to buy new ones.” He’s mehader, very good. Very good! But wouldn’t it be a good idea, once in a while as you pass by the mezuzah, to think about what’s written in the mezuzah? Isn’t it a tragedy that you get lost in secondary things?
What about the fundamentals, to come back to the first cause and think about what it says in the mezuzah as you pass by. It says v’ahavta es Hashem, love Hashem. That’s what the mezuzah says – among other things.
DO A KINDNESS AND ADVERTISE HASHEM
Some people wear their tzitzis hanging out, even among gentiles. They defy the world. They unfurl their banner, they let everyone see it. And sometimes they even spend good money on tzitzis, expensive tzitzis. Isn’t it a pity when people forget what their tzitzis are saying? L’maan tizkiru, you should remember, “אני ה’ אלוקיכם אשר הוצאתי אתכם מארץ מצרים, I am Hashem and you’re mine forever.” That’s what you should be thinking when you see tzitzis: “Hakodosh Boruch Hu, I’m yours forever.”
And therefore Rabbi Tzadok said let’s remember what’s the real purpose of Rabban Gamliel standing over us. Rabban Gamliel, when he stands over us and he pours wine, it’s true it’s a memorial to Avraham. But more important, it’s a memorial to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And he’s advertising the great principle that this world was made for the purpose of bestowing kindness on all the inhabitants of this world. יכירו וידעו כל יושבי תבל, let everybody recognize that. And that’s our purpose whenever we do something of kindness. Whenever we bestow a favor on anybody, it’s important for us to keep in mind that we want to advertise that Hashem is a tov u’meitiv, that that’s His only purpose and that’s why He created the world.
THE WEALTH OF HAVING A LARGE FAMILY
Now we’re going to see something about the importance of this function. In Moed Katan (27b), the gemara tells a story. ההיא איתתא, there was a woman דהות בשיבבותיה דרב הונא, that lived in the neighborhood of Rav Huna. This woman lived nearby Rav Huna. הוו לה שבעה בני, and she had seven sons. Seven sons! That’s a wealth, that was a rich woman. The question is did that woman spend time rejoicing in her possessions? Suppose she had seven huge apartment houses, seven high rise apartments buildings. A huge building complex, let’s say way down Ocean Parkway. And she had seven of them.
And when she would get up in the morning, she would be thinking, “I have seven, you can count them.” She goes to sleep at night and she remembers that she has seven tall buildings. Of course she remembers, because the rent checks are coming in, they’re piling up on her desk. But this lady has much better than that. Seven sons! That’s a million times better than seven apartment houses. Seven sons! They’re going to do mitzvos long after you leave this world. They’ll continue in this world with their children. They’ll put on tefillin, wear tzitzis, they’ll daven, they’ll say Kriyas Shema and bircas hamazon, they’ll mention Yetzias Mitzrayim, they’ll learn Torah, they’ll give tzedaka, they’ll have children of their own. What a wealth there is in seven sons.
ADVERTISING THE WRONG THING
Now I don’t know if this woman spent much time thinking about that great happiness she possessed. What happened however? מת חד מינייהו, one of them died. Oh, when one died, הוות קא בכיא ביתירתא עליה, she wept exceedingly for him. I suspect that she didn’t rejoice enough when she had him, so Hakadosh Baruch Hu wanted to remind her what it means, to have one son more. So He took away one son, He subtracted one so maybe now she’ll appreciate the other six. What did she do? She wept exceedingly and she didn’t stop weeping.
Now the gemara says that there’s a limit how much you should weep. But she exceeded the limit. She wept and wept and wept and wept. Day and night people would pass by her house, and they were saddened, they were all reminded what a sad world this is, what a bitter thing happened to this woman, she lost a son. And everybody in town was in gloom. She advertised the fact that a great tragedy happened to her.
Rav Huna didn’t like that at all. שלח לה רב הונא, so he sent a message to her, he said לא תעבדי הכי, don’t do that. Stop. לא אשגחה ביה, but she paid no attention and she kept on weeping. “What do you mean, stop weeping? I lost a son. I’ll never forget him.” And she wept and wept. She kept on drinking water and pouring it out in tears, constantly without ending. שלח לה, so he sent another message, אי צייתת מוטב, if you’re going to obey, then it’ll be good, ואי לא, if you’re not going to obey, צבית זוודתא לאידך, prepare funeral shrouds for another son. And so she disobeyed and she continued to weep. מית, another one died. And now she started out really in earnest, on all keilim. Every instrument in the orchestra was now activated. And she was weeping and weeping and weeping. Well, she refused to stop, ומיתו כולהו, and they all died, one after the other. Of course she didn’t stop weeping. On the contrary, now she became a master, she was so experienced. She wept and wept. לסוף אמר לה, at the end he said to her, תימוש זוודתא לנפשיך, prepare funeral shrouds for yourself. ומיתא, and she passed away.
THE GREEK COMEDIES AND TRAGEDIES
Now this is a wonderful story, and you have to study the story and understand what it’s saying. Hakadosh Baruch Hu told us it’s a good world. When He created the world וירא אלוקים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד, it’s a very good world. Why did He tell us that? He told us that because there are people who like to weep in this world. They get fun out of weeping. They get fun in knocking the world and saying how sad and how bitter everything is. Especially the Greek tragedians, they’re all tragedies. The Greeks used to come, they used to go to a comic, then to a tragedy. Comic and a tragedy. The comedy made a joke out of the whole world. The whole world is nothing but a joke. Nothing is dignified, nothing is important. You ridicule somebody, you ridicule the whole world; that was a comedy, Greek comedy.
Then there were the Greek tragedies. In Greek tragedy, the world is chaos The world is cruel, it’s a pity, it’s a pity on everyone. And they all sat and wept. And so when you see the insignia of a theater, a laughing face and a weeping face, that’s the Greek “comedy and tragedy.” The world is either a joke or it’s a tragedy. And the truth is that both ways it’s a joke. Because either way, it makes the world into nothing.
THE MARXISTS KNOW HOW TO BECOME POPULAR
And now, against this, Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants us to rise up in a violent revolt and say the world is something, the world is great. It’s not a joke; it’s very serious! And the purpose of the world is so that we should utilize our lives to let everybody know who Hakadosh Baruch Hu is. He’s the Creator who made it for a purpose, a grand purpose. And the purpose was to establish in the world a new principle, the principle of kindness, of doing chesed to others. It’s a new principle. Without Him nobody would think there’s a necessity to do favors.
Why should I bother to do favors to somebody? It’s not logical. If I have money, should I have to give it to somebody who doesn’t have? Where is the logic? The evolutionists have no reason why they favor spending government money on the underprivileged. It’s only because the evolutionists are really insincere. The liberals are insincere. They’re holding on to vestiges of old worn out principles that came from the religion. The religion taught charity and kindliness, and that is still something that finds favor in the eyes of the world. So the liberals, the evolutionists, and the Marxists, they know that’s the way to become popular. Actually they don’t believe in that. They believe in the power struggle, in the man who has the strongest fists, the biggest punch, that’s the one who deserves to be on top.
COLORED TV FOR THE MURDERERS
Nietzsche was an honest materialist. Nietzsche yemach shemo v’zichro – you can say that on all of them. Nietzsche said openly if you have more power, then you are on top. The weaker man has to perish. But Nietzsche said the real truth so he didn’t become popular. But these fellows want popularity; they want to be liberals and popular too, they want to be Darwinists and popular too. So they say ain Elokim, the world is chaos, but yes kindliness, yes compassion. A murderer should be given every opportunity to have colored television. And he has to have a big hall in which all convene. You can’t put him in a solitary place where he’ll chalila get depressed.
And the murderers come together in Attica let’s say, and they kill a couple of guards, and they make a big revolution and set fire to the building. And then the state sets up a commission to inquire what are the demands of these murderers. Look, nobody came to Attica because let’s say he was a traffic violator. All the people there are murderers. So these hoodlums have demands; they’re not satisfied. And so the state listens to them and they respectfully promise these demonstrators that they’ll pay full attention, serious attention to their demands. And they got what they wanted. They didn’t like plain black and white television. That “cruelty” they won’t stand for. And the liberals of The New York Times raise their howl, you have to be compassionate to the hoodlums. Colored TV for the murderers.
Now that’s against Nietzsche. Nietzsche was an honest rasha. And Nietzsche would have said what do you mean, they’re nuisances. Don’t we exterminate lice? So anybody who is a nuisance put him in a chamber, the cheapest way to get rid of him, that’s the way. If it’s gas or if it’s a bullet, whatever it is. But these liberals don’t want to lose face. After all, the masses still believe in religion, the masses still have some compassion. So the liberals take the worn out garment of compassion that they themselves have discarded. They don’t believe in compassion. What do they care, compassion for the victims? People are killed every day because of the liberals. But what do they care? As long as they are putting on the false garment of compassion to find favor in the eyes of the foolish public who will still vote for them and still buy their New York Times and still give contributions to the ACLU. These dopes are helping people in order that murderers should be able to kill more people without being afraid of any kind of punishment.
LEARNING REAL COMPASSION
But really it’s all a fraud. By logic why should these evolutionists, these apikorsim care about the downtrodden? By logic there’s no reason why people should have compassion. It’s not real at all. But because we believe in Hakadosh Baruch Hu, who created the world for kindliness, we say there is such a thing. Not compassion on murderers, not compassion on criminals, but real compassion.
The Torah tells us there are rules of compassion, there are procedures of compassion. You have to know how to be compassionate. And one of the ways of being compassionate is to protect innocent people. And the Torah says שופך דם האדם, if somebody sheds human blood, באדם דמו ישפך, by men his blood should be shed. Don’t wait for Me to do the job, Hashem says. Don’t say “Hashem will get even with him.” Never mind, that’s your job. Human beings have to be compassionate. We have to learn compassion on the public, compassion on the victim.
The victim is dead now. קול דמי אחיך צועקים אלי מן האדמה The victim cries out from the grave and says “I want that murderer killed.” What do you mean he put me in the grave and now he walks around with five years probation?! Five years probation they give a murderer. Five years probation! One murderer after another gets five years probation. Probation means what? It means for five years he has to come to the police station once a month, stick his head in the door, and say, “Hi Officer Jerry.” And the officer checks off that he came in. That’s the punishment for a rotzeiach. And meanwhile the blood of victim is crying out from ground for revenge. The blood is never quiet. It’s boiling; it wants revenge.
APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE!
And so when Rav Huna saw this woman who was weeping too much, he considered it a chillul of the glory of Hashem, she is profaning Hashem’s glory. Instead of advertising how great is Hashem, how good He is, she was doing the opposite. She was causing the whole world to feel that this is a bitter world, a tragic world. And so he said, “Desist! Stop the crying and instead spend time enjoying the other six sons that you have. Now is the time to appreciate.”
When a man has a toothache, do you know what the first thing he should think about is? First he has to call up the dentist for an appointment. But the very first thing is to think “Look at all the days I did not have a toothache.” He should think, “This toothache is reminding me of all the days that I didn’t have a toothache.” When you have a headache, what’s the first thing to remind yourself? “Look at the hundreds of days I didn’t have a headache.”
When you’re walking with a glass, a cup or a vase, and now the glass fell down and broke, so one of the first things of course is to pick up the pieces so that people shouldn’t step on it. That’s number one. And then think “Look how many times I carried the glass and it didn’t break.”
Every mishap has the function of reminding you how lucky you are that it happened just once. And so she should have spent time now enjoying her six sons. Of course she had to weep. There is a certain decent amount of weeping you must do. You can’t let a human being leave this world chalila and ignore it. So out of respect, in order to engender a soft heart, like the Ramban says, we don’t want to have stony hearts. We have to foster compassion in ourselves. So we have to weep. But after a certain time you need to desist because beyond that, you are propagandizing against Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And finally when she continued, then the best procedure was to get her out of the way. And she left the world.
And so now we see if we want to continue in life and to continue successfully, we should put it into our ideology and we should make it a life function to let everybody know how pleasant life is. So when the weather let’s say in the street is 90 degrees or more, nobody should be so stupid as to complain. I was talking to a landlord three days ago in the middle of the heat wave. I met him on the street. I said, “Isn’t it wonderful? All this heat is free. He looked at me, he had no idea. You forget about Saudi Arabia and their oil in the summer, we can laugh in their faces. Of course if you have a car you’re still enslaved to them. But a landlord declares independence in July and August.
So he said “Oh it would be wonderful if in the wintertime we had this heat.” So I said to him “We’re having it now in the winter because without this heat it would be winter!” If Hashem removed the heat you’d need your overcoat now. That’s exactly what’s taking place. So our job is to enjoy the heat.
ENJOY THE SUN!
Now you’re going to have red apples coming out soon, the new crop will be ripe. How did they become red? Apples don’t become red when it’s cold. You have to cook the apple. Apples are cooked on the tree. You know potatoes are not cooked. You have to cook them yourself. Meat is not cooked, you have to cook it yourself. But apples are cooked for you. They are already cooked and already wrapped on the tree! And they drop down when they’re ripe! Now how does that happen? You need energy for that, it’s the heat of the sun that’s doing that.
So as you walk in the street and you sit in your house and you’re sweltering, enjoy it. And let everybody know how good it is. It’s making fruits red, it’s putting the blush on the peach, it’s making watermelon red inside. All this redness of the beautiful fruits comes from the heat. It bakes the arthritis out of your poor old shoulders. In the summertime the knees become more limber. It bakes the arthritis out. And no colds in the summertime unless you drink a lot of cold drinks. The doctor told me people are crazy. In the summertime, they get colds. They sit in front of an electric fan and drink cold drinks. If they’d live normally you wouldn’t have colds in summertime. And very few toothaches in summertime. So let’s enjoy it. Oh, you say, I can’t enjoy it, it’s too much for me.
Look, whatever it is, you have to know it’s not as hot as it was k’chom hayom. That day was hot when Avraham ran into the street to meet his wayfarers. It was H-E-L-L. That’s what the gemara says. The gemara says it was gehinom, the gemara says. It was a terrible heat that day. And Avraham ran out into the heat to greet his wayfarers and to demonstrate the chesed Hashem. So what do you see? As hot as it is, you have to go out to make a demonstration. So if it’s a hot day say “Isn’t it a glorious day? Look at what we’re getting by this heat. Billions of horsepower of energy are hitting this earth every second. And it’s all free.” That’s the way to talk. There are plenty of blessings in the heat. We should appreciate them and let the world know about it, and for sure not to complain because you’re propagandizing against the Borei.
ENJOYING THE RAIN, AND THE WIND!
And when it rains also, don’t say like the children used to say in the song “rain, rain go away come again another day.” That’s foolishness of the nations of the world. We say “rain, blessing, every drop is a pearl” (Brachos 59b). And Hakadosh Baruch Hu is blessing us. And wind אי אפשר לעולם בלא רוחות, the gemara says (Taanis 3b), we need the wind! Where would we be without wind? The clouds would remain over the Atlantic and it would rain there. What good would that do us? So we need the rain, we need the winds. All the blessings that Hakadosh Baruch Hu showers upon this world are given for the purpose of demonstrating that great principle.
THE MIRACULOUS STOMACH LINING
So when people complain, and some people are chronic complainers. It’s a queer thing, an interesting, an amazing thing, that people who are chronic complainers cut short their lives. Now you’ll explain oh I understand why that is, because if people are complainers so they’re unhappy, so unhappy people wear out the lining of their stomach. You know the stomach lining is a remarkable thing. It’s a living lining. Now inside the stomach there’s hydrochloric acid, a very sharp acid. Let’s say you’re eating the stomach of an animal, and that stomach of the animal is now in your stomach. How do you digest it? We digest it with your hydrochloric acid. It breaks down that stomach. The question is why doesn’t it break down your stomach too? That’s a very big question. If this acid can break down the stomach of things that you’re eating, why doesn’t it break down your own stomach? I hope you appreciate the question. It’s a miracle. Because you have a lining, a living lining. It’s wonderful. It’s impervious to this strong acid.
The truth is if you put your finger in that acid your finger would be burned. But your stomach is not burned! That’s when you’re a normal human being, you’re a happy person. Everything is purring, the motor is purring in you. And so the lining is producing all the chemicals that it needs and it’s able to remain invulnerable to the stomach acid. But when the person is a complainer, he’s a sour fellow, so he becomes peptic.
What does peptic mean? He starts wearing out the lining of his stomach. And now the stomach acid gets to the inside of the stomach and starts burning and makes ulcers. So that’s how people explain why unhappy people get ulcers eventually. They don’t live long. Either ulcers in their stomach or ulcers in duodenum, some other thing breaks down because of unhappiness.
THE DISEASE OF UNHAPPINESS
Unhappiness is a sickness. Unhappiness causes diseases. It’s well known- a sunny disposition will give you a longer life. But we have to know it’s not an accident. It’s because Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants people around who have sunny dispositions. He doesn’t want complainers around because you know when a man opens a store and the people outside who are carrying signs, unfair to organized labor because he didn’t hire them or he’s not buying from their suppliers, the storekeeper doesn’t want them around. He doesn’t want them around. So if by accident a bum comes along and beats up one of these pickets, the storekeeper doesn’t mind. I suspect he paid the bum.
And so Hakadosh Baruch Hu doesn’t mind when the complainers who are walking around picketing Him and saying “Oh, what terrible weather, I can’t take it. It’s too much heat, or too much cold.” It’s the same person by the way who was too hot, now, “it’s terribly cold”. I met a man coming out of the Mirrer Yeshiva one day. A blast of wintry wind was blowing, it was terribly cold. I said, “Well by Tammuz it will warm up,” I told him. “By Tammuz?!”, he said. That’s the compensation. It’s a consolation. Think about it. When the wintry blasts are freezing you, soon Tammuz will come. It’s not too far off. If Tammuz is too hot for you, so winter will come. So what do you want? You’re never satisfied?! The answer is you always have to propagandize for Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And that’s going to give us a sunny disposition and that’s the dispensation of the Borei that these people should live longer because He wants them around.
THE GLORY OF GRASS
And now we’ll understand what it says. Every day we say it so let’s understand it. Tov yatzar kavod l’shemo, the Good One created this glory for His name. Now before we go on, the famous question that you heard a number of times here. The Good One, Hashem is the good one, He created glory, all this glory of the world for His name. What’s the glory of the world? Hashamayim misparim kvod Keil, the glory of the sunlight, the glory of air, the glory of trees, the glory of grass.
You know grass is a wonderful thing. Grass freshens the atmosphere, grass keeps the ground together; the earth shouldn’t run off with the rain. It protects the soil that it shouldn’t become windblown sand. Grass is very nice, it’s like a carpet. Children can roll in the grass, you can sit down in the grass. The earth doesn’t become muddy when there’s grass. Grass also is food for sheep and for cattle, and they take it and transform the grass into milk and cream and cheese. Also casein for knives of cutlery, handles of cutlery. They transform grass into leather and horses transform grass into work, they pull wagons. Grass is a wonderful thing. And so we have to appreciate all these things. All these things are for the purpose of proclaiming the glory of Hashem.
Tov, the Good One, yatzar kavod l’shemo, He created all this glory for His name. And so the big question is asked as follows. If He is the good one, if His purpose is kindliness, so He created all this for kindliness. He created it to bestow kindliness. How can you say He created it for glory for His name? If He’s the good one He’s not doing it for glory, He’s doing it for us, to benefit mankind. We hear a contradiction. A paradox, tov, the Good One, yatzar kavod, He created glory and it’s meant for His name. That’s a big kasha.
THE WONDERS OF THE ORANGE
And the answer is as follows. When Hakadosh Baruch Hu gives you an orange, He gives us an orange, there’s no question He wants you to enjoy the orange. Otherwise the orange would have been bitter. Why is the orange so pleasant to eat? Why did He make the orange skin yellow? He could have made it colorless. If it’s packaged yellow, He wants you to have more hana’ah. No question, you open up the orange, the orange has a glassful of juice but it doesn’t spill. When you have A glassful of juice you have to be careful that it doesn’t spill. But when you open the orange, it doesn’t spill. It’s cunningly contrived that every drop is imprisoned in a little cell. And as you cut it, only a few drops are lost. That’s a masterpiece of packaging.
I saw today, I passed by a place, they were taking out boxes full of something. I took a look, what’s in the boxes? Oranges from California. Oranges came from California. They’re packaged, packaged. That package, the orange is packaged in such a wonderful, permanent package. It lasts a very long time. And when you don’t need it you throw it into the garbage and it’s recycled. Orange peels disintegrate and becomes soil again. But while it’s needed it’s a perfect packaging. It’s covered with a thin waterproof plastic, and it has pores in it. An orange is a beautiful job of packaging. And then the contents are colored. It’s more fun eating, drinking colored orange juice. And therefore we see Hakadosh Baruch Hu wants us to enjoy it.
THE BIGGEST BENEFIT OF AN ORANGE: EMUNAH
But there’s a bigger benefit that He wants to bestow on us. When He gives us the orange, it’s true He wants us to enjoy the orange. But there’s a bigger tova. The greatest benefit that we can gain in this world is the benefit of learning who Hakadosh Baruch Hu is. That’s the greatest tov there is. There’s no bigger benefit a man can learn in this world than emunah to believe and understand who Hakadosh Baruch Hu is. And that’s the biggest favor the orange does to you. So as you’re about to eat the orange, you’re going to enjoy it. It’s a pleasure. It’s sweet and it’s tart. If the orange was just sweet it would be cloying, you couldn’t stand it. If it was sour you couldn’t eat it. It’s just the right mixture. It’s cooked on the tree, just the right mixture.
So while you’re peeling it, look at the peel. The peel comes off. You know when the orange is unripe it’s hard to peel. A ripe orange, the peel comes off more readily. A wonderful thing. And while you’re eating the orange you’re spitting out the seeds. Why do you spit out the seeds? Because they’re bitter. Why are orange seeds bitter? Because the Creator didn’t want you to eat the seeds. He wanted you to spit out the seeds. You spit out the seeds and another orange tree will grow if you spit them in the right place. So while we’re eating the orange we’re getting a bigger benefit. We’re getting the benefit of emunah. That’s The biggest thing in life the orange can give us.
IT’S A HAPPY WORLD!
So we come back to that statement. Tov, the Good One, He is the Good One. He wants to give us every form of good. He wants to give us an orange, and He wants to give us the lessons of the orange. And the lessons are more important than the orange. But He doesn’t teach us merely the lessons without an orange. Like Avraham Avinu didn’t serve Chovos Halevavoses or Chumashim, he served oranges. And from the oranges he brought people to the emunah, to thank the One who created the oranges.
So Tov, the Good One, yatzar kavod, He created all this glory for His name, in order we should learn from the happiness we have in this world, the good that we enjoy in this world, that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is a tov. That’s the great purpose of being in this world; to learn about the Creator and understand the middos of chesed. Hashem Hashem Keil rachum v’chanun, all the qualities of kindliness we learn of Hakadosh Baruch Hu by observing the creations with which He filled the world.
And therefore our job in this world is to advertise that. But first to ourselves. You have to know you’ll live longer. Anybody who is happier will be able to avoid diabetes. Diabetes comes from being excited and angry and displeased. Heart conditions happen mostly to unhappy people. Nervous disorders come to unhappy people. It’s remarkable how many diseases come from dissatisfaction, resentment, depression, and unhappiness. And the people who follow in the path of honoring Hakadosh Baruch Hu by learning His ways, understanding that He is tov u’meitiv, these people will be rewarded with the opportunity to continue this career, to continue spreading the message in the world that Hakadosh Baruch Hu wanted most of all. Everything we do should be a zecher l’chasdei haMakom, a monument to remind ourselves and then after that to remind the world of the kindness of Hashem!