Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, posits, based upon Rav Tzadok HaKohen, that “having a little bit of ‘Rah’ within us us not such a bad thing.” This Plan B that we (Adam) chose, could make us much better, in the long run, than had we gone with Plan A which was the Plan before Adam ingested the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. In other words, now that you’ve ingested the knowledge (tools) harness the beauty and exhilaration of the ride on the bucking bronco (which could also kill you) and make it bend to Hashem’s Will. “Some with chariots and some with horses, but we (the Jewish People) in the Name of Hashem call out.” If we do that… “Hashem save, may the King answer us on the day we call.” And then, shall a redeemer come to zion, and to those who repent from willful sin among Yaakov, the words of Hashem.”
Our work, now that we’ve exposed ourselves to good and evil, is to use the tools that we’ve acquired to build a Home for the Shechina here on this grungy, dirty earth. It may not be an easy job, and it make take 6000 years, but we, the Jewish People, have the antidote to the Zehumas HaNachash. We must harness it.
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, reveals questions and answers about how and when the “venom” of the nachash that was ingested by Adam was/will be neutralized within the framework of the stages of Jewish history. The secret is in the recombining the “soul” with the “body.” The laboratory is Shabbos.
Rabbi Haber composes a historical scenario taking us from the Sin of Adam, through Noach, Avraham Avinu, Yitzchak Avinu, Yaakov Avinu, the shevatim, Yetziat Mitzraim, Moshe and the rest of the Story of the Jewish People until the coming of Mashiach. He explains how after we ingested the Slime or poison of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, our function in the world is to eradicate and disgorge ourselves of that Slime & Grime to get back to the Holiness that was extant before the Sin when the Shechina could dwell amongst us. Individually, some of us may be able to get close. We’ve had many chances, as Rav Haber demonstrates. It’s a process that has taken over 3,500 years to complete. When the Mashiach finally arrives, the Second Luchos will be revealed to the Whole World Publicly when Hashem will be One and His Name will be One.
Rabbi Haber elaborates on how & why the Nachash enticed Chava and was able to seduce her. Now the נחש is within us as the יצר הרע. The first stone tablets (Ten Commandments) were not successful because they were given “publicly” פרהסיה with pomp and circumstance. But the second stone tablets were given “quietly” anxiously בחשאי. Plan A didn’t work. Most start-ups are a failure. The First Tablets were like Adam before the sin.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, delves into the method of analyzing ones character by inspecting the way one sees the world. Is it good or bad? Is it holy or perverse? The model for a rasha רשע (evil person) as described in the Gomorrah and by Rabbi Tzadik HaKohen, is the non-Jewish prophet, Bilam. This is a fascinating discussion that touches on many ideas of fundamental substance to Judaism. Who are we in the world? What is our role as a Jewish Nation? How do we fix the sin of Adam and those of our predecessors? Is there a difference between souls? How do different souls view the same thing? How do the Chruvim fit into this discussion? Why do we see what we see? Can we change what we see? Can we change who we are? Watch, learn, and be amazed!
We’re Left with Plan B-The Chruvim; Busha or Kedusha
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, enlightens us on the consequence of Am Yisrael’s disobediences to Hashem. Am Yisrael, the “First Born”, like Adam HaRishon and Reuven, being impulsive and attempting to second guess or substitute our will for the Will of the Creator leads us to our ongoing choices of not thinking of Him before we act and not waiting for the Ratzon of Hashem to play out. It has led us on our much longer path of returning to Gan Eden. It has resulted in our constant struggle to reach our Ultimate Destiny. We must uproot our ego in order to get there.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, makes the Chet (sin) of Adam understandable. In the context of history, the sin of Adam is the model for every sin that the Jewish People committed. Every one of our sins goes back to the first desire of Adam to “elevate” himself above what Hashem planned for Creation. The question is “whose in charge of me?” Do I make my own decisions about how I want Creation to be? Or, do I do it the way Hashem wants? The substance of ego is the “evil” that was ingested by Adam. It’s now within us. It will remain within us for the purpose of forcing us to recognize it and to overcome it. Are we for Hashem under all circumstances or are we for ourselves? Are we part of Hashem or are we separate? Ego is separation. Hashem is Unity. Our struggle is to remove the separation. Now that we have the amalgam of good and evil within us, when we water the good (the Garden that Hashem gave us), we could also be watering the evil (the weeds that we ingested). Our work in this world now is to struggle to water the good and kill the evil. May the Goodness of Hashem blossom and the weeds wither.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Shlit’a, through the words of Rav Tzadok HaKohen, explains that the Rah רע (bad or evil) that Adam ingested was by choice in order to make himself capable of being “an individual” separate from Hashem so that he could go to battle for Hashem. But that choice was fraught with danger as evil has a tendency to win over good. Therefore, he was excluded from Gan Eden to prevent him from becoming eternal. Shabbos comes to provide the Jewish People with the ability to reunify with Hashem and His Holy Name by reversing the פרודה divisions/separations that we’ve been given in the Holiness of the Seventh Day. Although we live in the world of separation פרוד but it all comes together if it all has One Purpose. The point of Shabbos is where we can contemplate on the disparate part of the world that was given to us and, in so doing, we unify the separation of the week that has past and make it Holy.
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, discusses the importance of juxtaposition of intentionality and action. The action that we should focus on at the Pesach seder is the “Freedom to express myself.” Dovid HaMelech says if I articulate my innermost feelings then I’m thanking and praising Hashem.
“I” am the story of the exodus from Egypt and it must be articulated.
The Nefesh HaChaim wrote “7 Prakim” the explanation of the Volozhin philosophy as opposed to the Chassidic philosophy. He explains that there are 2 parts of every mitzvah. The Kavana and the Maaseh. The Ikar עקר (substance) is the Maaseh מעשה (action).
What is the purpose of doing mitzvahs?
Is it to make myself a better person or is it to bring the mitzvah for the Malchus Shamayim and make this world a better place? Is it about me or about the world?
Rabbi Haber, Shlit’a, develops the concepts of redemption, freedom and how the power that speaking about a trauma/slavery is the method by which we release our souls that are “enslaved” within us. This is exactly what the speaking out of the Exodus (our transformation from slavery to freedom) at our Pesach Seder is all about. It’s not about the physical exodus. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition of the the ordinary accepted expression of geula with the much deeper reality than the geula of the soul itself. The change in the name of Pi-tom (meaning “the mouth is closed” which is the name of the Egyptian city that was built by the Jews during their slavery) to Pi-chayros (meaning “the mouth is free") is how the Jewish People’s experience in the Exodus teaches us how we can become a bal-tshuva gemurah and change themselves into a different/new person.
Rabbi Haber, shlit’a, elaborates on the importance of speaking out the story of our Exodus from Egypt. It’s not sufficient that we just “tell over the story.” But, there’s much more… The Rav quotes from an essay of Rabbi Tadok HaKohen and relates how the Exodus from Egypt mimics the steps in the birth process as relates to the Birth of the Jewish Nation!
Kedushas Shabbos Part 121 - The Secret of Shabbos – Tying together a fragmented world
Rabbi Haber simplifies the secret of the שמע ישראל and ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו; Hashem sends us a fragmented world in spite of His UNITY, empowering each Jew to tie it all together. This is called ‘Creating Malchus’. The laboratory of this transformation is Shabbos. Hashem gave Mankind the job of Kingship.
Kedushas Shabbos Part 120 - Preparing the Chariot for the King to Ascend
Rabbi Haber, Shlita, travels the Holy Zohar, and shows how the Matzav מצב (state/condition) of Echad אחד (the Unity) is the Shechina שכינה (Holy Presence) when/where the King can ascend His Throne to do His Kinging. Shabbos is the Kedushin קדושין (marriage) of Hashem with His People, Am Yisrael, in UNITY. On Shabbos the Jewish People connect the Briah (Creation) with Hashem. The Life Force of Creation, which Hashem has divided into two parts: Kodesh קדוש (Holiness/Purity) and the sitra achar סתרה אחר (Contradicted other/Powers of constriction), both give koach (energy) to the world. Hashem rules through both Life Forces. When we’re being holy, we’re connected through the stream of Kodesh קדוש. At other times, we’re being ruled by Hashem through the sitra achar (Powers of constriction) סתרה אחר. Let’s get married in Holiness to Hashem and be together with Him in Supreme Unification עליון יחוד! Cut away the powers of constriction אזמר בשבחין and give birth to the Neshama Yesayrah נשמה יתרה (Soulfulness/ Extra soul). Shabbos is the Laboratory of rebirth and Unification.
Special Thanks to Eliezer Roeh-Ohr for Video & Description
Rabbi Haber has been a leading force in Jewish Outreach for the past 25 years. A founding trustee of AJOP, the Association of Jewish Outreach Professionals, he was the founder and director of the Torah Center of Buffalo from 1980-1990 while serving as a community rabbi in Buffalo. From Buffalo he and his family traveled to Melbourne, Australia where as a project of Kollel Bais HaTalmud he founded the Australian Institute of Torah, a national outreach and adult education program. He directed that program from 1990-1995, at which time he was sought out as National Director of Jewish Education for the Orthodox Union in the United States where he created the Internationally acclaimed and highly successful "Pardes Project."
In addition to his duties at the OU, in 1996 he replaced Rabbi Berel Wein as the spiritual leader of Congregation Bais Torah in Monsey, NY. In keeping with the position of Congregation Bais Torah in the Monsey community, Rabbi Haber was involved in issues involving the greater Monsey community, and counseled hundreds of individuals in the surrounding area.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber is the founder and driving force behind TorahLab. Through TorahLab, Rabbi Haber is bringing together educational and media specialists to create dynamic learning experiences which will be accessible to adults of all backgrounds and levels. Rabbi Haber has published numerous articles and books and is a sought after international lecturer.
Rabbi Haber and his family are presently living in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he is the Rabbi of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun.
Incorporating 25 years of experience and research in the field of adult Jewish education, TorahLab provides lay leaders, professional educators, and students with state-of-the-art Jewish learning tools.
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