This shiur is part of the translations from the Derech of Rabbi Asher Freund. Other recordings can be found on the link to the blog post below, but this shiur was so special I am posting it along with some quickly typed notes to stimulate interest in listening to the whole audio.
Parshas Matos Maaseh
A person’s strength is from Hashem. All power is Hashem. When we understand that, we begin to become truly human, rising above the feelings that we are an entity. An animal does not have thought. He does not realize where his life comes from. But a person, who has thought, he has to realize that all our strength comes from Hashem and that our shortsightedness is where our behira is. The minute we think we are an entity, we are lower than the animal because the animal does not have the free choice to realize its power is from Hashem. It is not an animal’s job to understand that.
A person’s mission is to come to this realization. If we do not connect to the spirit of Hashem within us, which is what we are obligated to do, we have missed out mission.
To come to this realization, we have to work on ourselves. We can realize our predicament every moment. Every breath is from Hashem and we cannot live one second without Him.
The spirit of Hashem is “dressed up” inside our body. Understanding the animalistic part of us means that we understand that everything we have is the power of Hashem. Understand our life line. This is the whole purpose for which Hashem creates a person, that in the form of a man is an animal that is able to connect to Hashem and realize that the spirit of Hashem is within him and to connect to that spirit.
In every generation there are those who came to this. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai realized he is body connected to Hashem. Rabbi Akiva who did not feel the combs peeling his body in the fire and his neshama went out with Hashem Echad. The whole purpose for which we are created is to cleave in the presence of Hashem.
The yetzer hara tries that we won’t come to this understanding. We have to live with this realization and nullify ourselves to Hashem. We are to turn around the yeish to ayin in order to get to kedusha.
A person can’t do anything. We cannot believe in ourselves until the day of our death. Only by nullifying ourselves completely can we come to yechud Hashem. Hashem sends us Moshe, Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Akiva, and Baal Shem Tov who came to this complete bittul. They became like angels in a body, and that is our mission in this world, to come to this realization. To be like Moshe Rebbeinu according to our own madrega.
A person wants to feel good. But we have to show Hashem that we understand we are nothing. Our suffering is because we are not mevatel ourselves. That is why there is such a separation between the children of Israel. Everyone has to know that for him the world is created and that all the suffering is because of him, and to remember that a person is born with the I that thinks the I does it, and arrogance and stubbornness. That is why Dovid said I am a worm. He understood his own lack. He knew that for him the world is created and that he should tremble and shiver every minute.
Everyone that suffers something runs away. Dovid says, where from Your state can I run? No one wants to be mekabel because we are stubborn. Instead of davening to save us from yesurim, we complain. From this comes separation because one person is jealous of the next thinking the other person wants to hurt him, and that caused the korbon and the Holocaust, and that is why we have the exile and Tisha b’av.
How long will we stay under the rulership of this? We are at fault, we have the Torah. We don’t think of Hashem in exile with us. We think only of ourselves and if it does not go our way, we lose it. Why don’t we think about Hashem?
A rich person came and said a lot of things and the rav said we don’t think about Hashem. We think we captured the kise hakavod and we have Hashem in our pocket. That is why Hashem sends loss. So that we understand that there is Hashem.
We see this kelipa for 2000 years, the arrogance, the I, and we give it to this kelipa. Hashem should help us not see the deficiencies of others but only the deficiencies in ourselves. We should not run away when it does not go as we wish. We have to become one even if someone suffers.
We can come to the place of Adom before the chait. Nothing belongs to any of us. Everything is from Hashem. Anger and jealousy can disappear when we have down pat that there is nothing but Hashem and His spirit is within us. There is no reason to be angry. If it happens, then it is Hashem’s will. There is no reason to be jealous. The other person needs it for their mission, I do not or Hashem would give it to me.