THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) ONE WHO TURNS HIS EAR AWAY FROM HEARING TORAH
When Rav Yirmiyah wanted to get up from learning in order to go Daven,
Rebbi Zeira said about him, "When one turns his ear away from hearing
Torah, his prayer is also an abomination" (Mishlei 28:9). If a person wants
to stop learning Torah in order to Daven, his prayers will not be
The VILNA GA'ON suggests another explanation for the verse. If a person
does not want to listen to a Torah teaching *because he has already heard
that Torah already* (mi'Shmoa = Mipnei she'Shama), so, too, Hashem will not
accept his prayers measure for measure -- because He has already heard
2) SHABBOS -- HASHEM'S HIDDEN TREASURE
QUESTION: The Gemara calls Shabbos a gift that Hashem had in His house of
hidden treasures which He decided to give to the Jewish people. Where is
Hashem's "house of hidden treasures?" What does He keep there?
(a) The Gemara in Chagigah (12a) tells us that the Divine Light of Creation
was hidden away for the righteous in the World to Come. However, the
Midrash (Bereishis Rabah 11:2) tells us that it appeared on the first
Shabbos, for the benefit of Adam and Chavah. The Midrash adds that Shabbos
was blessed with the Divine Light: "'Hashem blessed the seventh day and
sanctified it' (Bereishis 2:3) -- how did He bless it? With the Divine
Light...." We see from the Midrash that even though the Divine Light was
hidden away, Shabbos contains a quality of the Light that may be
experienced in this world.
The Gemara itself teaches that Shabbos is a "sampling (m'Ein) of what is
destined for us in the World to Come" (Berachos 57b). Shabbos is referred
to "as one sixtieth of the World to Come" -- that is to say, a taste of
what is to be in the World to Come (ibid.). Perhaps that Gemara is teaching
us the same lesson as the above Midrash. Just as the light that Hashem hid
away from this world will shine and bathe the righteous in the World to
Come, so too that Divine Light -- or at least a certain taste of it --
shines in our Shabbos.
Perhaps this is what our Gemara means when it says that Shabbos is one of
the hidden ("Ganuz") treasures of Hashem. Shabbos holds within it the key
to experiencing the Divine Light (Or ha'Ganuz) in this world.
(b) How is the Divine Light hidden in Shabbos? The B'NAI YISASCHAR tells
us, quoting from Kabalistic sources, "Where was it that Hashem hid away the
Divine Light? He hid it away in the Torah" (B'nai Yisaschar, Kislev, #1).
We can find that Light even in this world, in the Torah. (See also Midrash
Tanchuma, Noach, #3)
The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni #408) tells us that time is to be set aside on
Shabbos for Torah study. Shabbos was given to us in order to take advantage
of our physical rest and busy ourselves with spiritual growth. Perhaps this
is what is meant by saying that the Divine Light shines on every Shabbos.
On Shabbos, the Divine Light that emanates from the Torah is given an
opportunity to shine. (M. Kornfeld)