REVEALING THE SECRET- Inspiring us for every-year- Rabbi Daniel Leeman.The final volume of #Revealing the #Secret (3) has been released!!!
This blog is dedicated to authors father – Shlomo ben Shimon Zelig – who passed away recently.
To order your copy at a reduced price, e-mail this address. – firstname.lastname@example.org Similarly volumes 1 and 2 are still available.
Revealing the Secret 2 Hardcover – January 1, 2013
Samples from the new book :D Spy sight
Cuthbert MacMillan lived in a small, quiet town, next door to Mrs. Ethel Brownheart. Shortly after her 97th birthday she passed away and DJ Andy Cee moved in.
Cuthbert tried to get at least eight hours sleep every night, but since his new neighbour moved in he had not been able to get more than six. The music drove Cuthbert crazy. He would grin and bear his suffering and complain the following day, when he returned from work. Andy Cee would just shrug his shoulders and the same thing would continue to happen.
One day at work, Cuthbert became so wound up by his lack of sleep that he began to curse his neighbour in front of all his friends. When he got home and complained, again Andy Cee just shrugged his shoulders. In order to counter his anger, Cuthbert went into the garden and hammered a nail all the way into Andy’s wooden fence.
So lived our friends: loud music, late nights, complaints, shrugged shoulders, anger, bang bang bang.
One night, about 500 nails later, the music was particularly loud and Cuthbert had an important meeting at work the following morning. He put on his dressing gown and resolved to put an end to this once and for all. He was just about to bang on his neighbour’s door, when he realised that the noise was not coming from DJ Andy Cee at all – in fact, all his lights were off; rather, it was coming from the next house along.
Later, when Cuthbert discovered that Andy Cee worked every evening and did not return until the next morning, he began to understand what those shrugged shoulders really meant.
When Cuthbert apologised to Andy Cee, he was forgiven, but was asked to remove all the nails that he had hammered into the fence – and he embarrassingly spent hours removing them.
Those nails represented the curses Cuthbert had placed on Andy, and removing them to rectify the effects of those bad words took far longer than saying them – if, that is, the damage could be undone at all.
When we speak, we are hitting a nail into a fence, throwing a handful of ashes into the wind. At best, it will be hard to remove the nail and almost impossible to retrieve all of the ashes.
The spies who brought back negative reports of the land of Israel before the Children of Israel were to enter it, also spoke before properly assessing the situation.
The first letters of the verses of almost every chapter of the book of Eicha (Lamentations) follow the order of the alphabet. But in almost every instance, those beginning with letters ‘ayin’ and ‘peh’ are in the reverse order. We have been taught that this sequence reminds us of the spies who spoke with their mouths (peh) before looking properly with their eyes (ayin).
The world was created with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the order of the letters teaches us how we should behave. The letter ‘ayin’ comes before the letter ‘peh’ to teach us to us to place our ‘ayin’ (our eyes), before our ‘peh’ (our mouths). Not only should we think before we speak, but we should also first take a good look to ensure that our words reflect the true picture, rather than our personal bias.
The effects of neglecting to absorb this message are also reflected in the book of Eicha. After the order of the letters ‘ayin’ and ‘peh’ have been reversed a number of times and become the norm, the final chapter – even though it has 22 verses, corresponding to the 22 letters of the alphabet – is completely out of alphabetical order.
The order of the creation of the world was that first the basic substance was created and then it was fashioned in the way we know it. By changing the pre-ordained order, as reflected in the alphabet, we return the world to chaos. We knock in more and more nails, and scatter more and more ashes, making the damage we do harder and harder to rectify.
But it is not too late.
Throughout this Torah reading we see an apparently superfluous word crop up again and again: “See!”
See! We must use our eyes properly to look at what God has given us and how He has treated us. Learn to appreciate.
In the account of the spies, we are reminded ‘to look’, on seven occasions – one for each day of creation. Look properly before speaking, and retain the order of the alphabet and the world order.
At the end of Eicha we read, “Bring us back to You, God, and we shall return, renew our days as of old,” and herein lies the solution: “we shall return” the ‘ayin’ before the ‘peh’ – our eyes shall, once again, precede our mouths. Then He will “renew our days as of old” – restore our world of chaos, exile and spiritual darkness to how it once was, when the world was established by orderly creation.
May we soon merit seeing that day.
Have a ‘fansee’ Shabbos.
The Perfect Present for the new year! from Rabbi Daniel Leeman brought to you by the Midnightrabbi inspires ! Like!
THE SECRET 3
Inspiring stories and practical
insights into Devarim
by Rabbi Daniel Leeman
All or nothing
Towards the end of the journeying of the Children of Israel in the desert, on their way to the land of Israel, they encircled Mount Seir for a few days until God instructed them “enough of circling this mountain; turn northward”. Instead of conquering Mount Seir from the descendants of Eisav, the Children of Israel would have to change their course. Due to the failings of the scouts, the Children of Israel were commanded not to provoke the descendants of Eisav.
But what is the connection between the failings of the scouts and not provoking the descendants of Eisav? And why was the command not to provoke them preceded by the words “enough of your circling this mountain” – surely that would be self-evident from the instruction to “turn northward”?
A representative of a certain charitable institution returned to Israel after a fundraising trip in England and told of his meeting with a major donor.
The man lived in a simple house, although he was in fact extremely wealthy. When confronted about his seemingly contradictory lifestyle, he explained that he used to live in Berlin and felt somewhat personally responsible for the Holocaust. Every day, as evening approached, the wealthy Jews used to turn on their ostentatious chandeliers, so that the passing Germans walking their dogs, would see them and the expensive furnishings in their houses.
Years later, when the man found himself in the concentration camps, he vowed to himself that if he were to survive, he would live a simple life, regardless of his wealth.
One aspect of the failure of the scouts was that they seemed concerned about what others were thinking: “we saw great giants and we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so too in theirs”. If they had been less concerned about their own honour, and how they were perceived by others, we would have entered the land of Israel much sooner.
“Enough of circling this mountain”. Instead of merely ‘circling’ our enemies, repeatedly parading, flaunting and showing-off, we should instead “turn northward (צפנה)” i.e. conceal (צפונה) both what we do have as well as, more importantly, what we do not have. Rather than giving the impression that we have more than we actually do have, we should act humbly and modestly.
Eisav testified that he had “enough” – even a lot more than he needed. But nevertheless, he was always looking for more. Even after he sold his birthright, he continued to consider it “his”. And we are taught that he even resorted to stealing in order to accumulate more. Even though he at least at first appeared to reject Yaakov’s gifts this was, in fact, merely an act.
Perhaps he initially rejected them only because he saw how willing Yaakov was to give them away, and how dishonourable it would therefore be for him to accept them. Of equal importance to his greed, was Eisav’s desire to impress others with his wealth.
Yaakov, on the other hand, declared that he had “everything” – he was satisfied with his lot. He was not interested in receiving honour because of his wealth or giving the impression that he possessed more than he actually did. This is the greatness of Yaakov.
However, if we start to compromise our ideals because of other people’s perception of us, as the scouts did, then measure-for-measure we will lose this advantage over our enemies. We are the descendants of Yaakov and should follow in his footsteps. This is the advantage we have over our enemies and this is how we will be saved from them.
We have been taught that Eisav’s merit was that he honoured his father, and for that reason we were instructed not to conquer his descendants’ land but rather to “turn northward” instead. “Northward” is also referred to as an ascent. If, instead of looking for honour, we honour our Father in Heaven we can ascend to great spiritual heights.
Have an ascending Shabbos.
It is my pleasure to pen a letter of recommendation for my dear friend and colleague Rabbi Danny Leeman shlita, who serves as Maggid Shiur at our Beis Midrash.
Rabbi Leeman’s well-presented Shiurim are attended by an enthusiastic audience and have merited much acclaim by the participants. Intertwined with classical commentaries and modern authorities, he spices his lectures with stories, anecdotes and innovative insights.
Throughout his book too, Rabbi Leeman utilizes the power of the story and mashal in a very inspiring and captivating way to illustrate a deeper understanding of the pshat. He demonstrates his special talent of showing how messages and morals gleaned from long ago events are relevant to our daily lives, motivating one to strive for a higher level of spiritual achievement.
With its pleasant format, readers are sure to enjoy the diverse topics discussed, spiced with wit and a deep understanding of human nature.
Rabbi Binyomin Goodman
Revealing the Secret©
Volume 2: Shemos
Copyright © by Daniel Leeman, 2011 Perfect present for the new year 2012
Approbations and letters of recommendation