Chapter 83 Batya
In a session with Binyamin (chapter 82a) Binyamin asked me to put together a booklet with Batya's messages. Here are five of her messages:
1. G-d's love
Hashem is full of love. Every creation of His is full of love and every single thing in the world, was created with love. The first man, Adam Harishon, was created in perfection because he was a product of love.
Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, created man with free will, which also was an act of love. This act made man a partner in the creation of the world. Man had to willingly accept that Hashem is the Creator and the ruler over everything that exists and not man.
Hashem, in His infinite humbleness, accepted man as a partner in His divine plan; He wants man to achieve completeness with his own strength, but man was deceived by the snake, which is the Evil Inclination, who taught man to think that he can rebel against the will of Hashem and crown himself.
From that moment on, man lost the ability to recognize and feel Hashem's divine love.
Every generation since has had to go out, search and discover the Divine love, in the creation as well as within his self. The more we recognize the Divine love, the closer we become to shleimus (completeness).
Chessed - kindness is the way to shleimus. The more we emulate the kindness Hashem performs with us, the higher level of ruchnius (spirituality) we will attain. If we work very hard in Torah and in chessed we can achieve completeness. This search for the Divine love by way of performing acts of chessed for the sake of Heaven is the answer / solution.
When a person decides to accept upon himself the battle of emulating the middos (traits of his Creator, he has then accepted His kingship.
We, Hashem's chosen people, must accept upon ourselves this search for once more achieving the completeness that Man was created with, so that we may soon become completely surrounded by the love of Hashem.
However, I must at this point add a warning, regarding what I have written above; time is running out. If we do not search to achive completeness on our own, Hashem will bring us to the completeness through His infinite wisdom.
Ad when He does this, it will not be the easy way. All I can say is that it would be much better if we personally took the initiative and did teshuva (repentance).
Q. Can you elaborate - what is the teshuva you speak of?
A. I have said it already - do acts of kindness with all your hearts, with everybody. Start first with the people you come in contact with.
Q. To what extent is one obligated to do chessed?
A. Even those who are accustomed to doing chessed must push themselves harder. When you are doing the Will of Hashem, you must work so hard that you tire yourself out completely; there is no time for rest, there is no limit to the difficulties a person can take upon himself. In our world, 'working very hard' is usually not hard enough. We have gotten used to pampering ourselves.
Q. In your words, you related only to chessed. What about the other mitzvahs we are obligated to do?
A. Everything is chessed. If a person comes to true chessed he will automatically repent for all his other sins.
Q. What about a Torah scholar who is constantly busy learning Torah? Must he also take time away from his learning in order to do chessed?
A. He must work on both aspects because Torah is chessed and chessed is Torah. The great tzaddikim of each generation were always busy doing chessed. Only in our generation, full of so many Torah-learning men does such a question come up. How can one understand what they learn without having love for the rest of the Jewish people? And how can you love the people without having feelings for them - without doing chessed with them?!
Q. There is a story in the gemara, in Yerushalmi that tells about how Rabbi Abahu sent Rabbi Chiya to Tiberias to learn Torah and then then he found out he was busy doing chessed, he complained that he wants him to learn Torah, etc. Don't we learn from this that learning is preferable to chessed?
A. That is because there are people who deal in chessed for the wrong reasons, not for the sake of Heaven but because they prefer doing chessed than learning Torah. A person must learn Torah and do chessed and then he will come to shleimus (completeness).
Q. What is the borderline between Torah and chessed? In other words, how much time should a man take away from Torah learning in order to deal in chessed?
A. If it is done for the sake of Heaven, things will be good for you in the Heavenly Court.
Q. What is the limit? How much time should a man take off from his learning to do chessed? Should he do chessed all day?
A. He should do both. I don't understand the problem. Hashem gave us Torah to learn and chessed to do. That means you can do both.
Q. The Gemara in "Moed Katan" says that a person should not stop learning Torah to do a mitzvah that can be performed by another. Thus, do we not understand from this that there are times where a person must not stop his learning in order to do chessed when others could be doing that same chessed?
According to what you have written, one must give first priority to chessed, no?
A. No, that is not what I said. Any person can find a chessed that only he is capable of doing. A true Torah scholar understands exactly what he can or cannot do.
Q. What is the main problem of this generation - the learning or the chessed?
A. The problem is the selfishness that has a negative effect both on the chessed and on the Torah learning.
Q. How do you know all these things?
A. I'm a creation of Hashem. You also know these things but your brain gets in the way.
Q. What will happen to the secular Jews when Moshiach comes?
A. Those who do not repent will disappear from the world.
Q. How should we treat people who do not follow the will of Hashem?
A. You should patiently try to show them the truth but not allow yourselves to enter their world, even a bit, in the process.
Q. What is your opinion about the dispute between the misnagdim (Litvishers) and the Chassidim?
A. At the end of time everyone will know the truth, not now.
Q. How can we know the correct path to follow in the meantime?
A. Be good Jews, without dispute.
Q. Do the secular Jews contribute to the status of the generation?
A. Yes, they do, because they have the option of doing complete teshuva and there are religious Jews who don't have that option anymore because they are only disguised as religious Jews.
Q. Are there people who will not have the option to repent?
A. If a person enters the king's palace every day and kneels before the king, but in his heart he feels like he really does not have to fulfill the will of the king because he thinks he is smarter [than the king], such a person can no longer fear the king, even if the king gets angry and kills him he will die without accepting his kingship. Yet, a person who does not sense the king's greatness, and does not accept his kingship without seeing him first, after such a person enters the king's palace and sees his greatness, he will realize his mistake and accept his kingship instantly.
Q. There are people who run to a Rabbi for every single little question that comes up in life. Is this the correct way to behave?
A. Because they are so far from the truth that every tiny little decision frightens them. Yet, on the other hand if a person wholeheartedly accepts what his Rabbi says, he is to be commended because he accepts him as a true representative of Hashem.
Q. What do I need to rectify?
A. You must always check yourself and make sure you are doing this work for the sake of Heaven. Man's ego is the snake and one must always check to see if the snake managed to sneak its way in. Even great tzaddikim were constantly checking themselves. Your work is very holy. You must be cautious because the snake cannot bare success in your area of work.
Q. What must I improve regarding my Torah learning?
A. You must learn more mussar (self-improvement issues).
Q. Is it a good idea to film you in order to show this to people that are distant from Hashem, in hopes of bringing them closer?
A. The secular Jews will believe things that were discovered in University. That grabs them first and then you show them the real truth.