Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Parshas Zachor and today's daf

Today's daf records the derasha of the gemara that "Ki gadol ad shamayim chasdecha" refers to shelo lishma, but "Ki gadol m'al hashamyim" refers to lishma. The Yismach Moshe (end of parshas Ki Teitzei) brings from the Rebbe of Zutmir who heard from R' Levi Yitzchak m'Berdichiv that lishma means only for the sake of the Shechina. Even avodas Hashem has to be done simply to raise the Shechina from galus, not for the ulterior motive of reward or even achieving our own shleimus. The tachlis of Amalek was to cause us to insert our own agenda into our avodah so we never end up completely "lishma". "Rimche es zecher Amalek **m'tachas hashamayim**" - remove the shelo lishma that only goes up until shamayim and not m'al l'Shamayim!


  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Great blog.

    As I'm sure you're aware, there are many different opinions as to the meaning of "Torah Lishma". The Kidushas Levi is perhaps the most extreme position. The Nefesh Hachayim, for example, is much more lenient. Even other chasidim, such as the Baal Hatanya and the Avnei Nezer, were not as extreme. The vort is nice though, but depressing. Basically, we're all our own Amelek.

  2. Thank you for the comment, and yes, it is radical. I like the sefer Tiferes Shlomo of the Radomsker, and he takes the same approach in numerous places. Perhaps one point could be added to the vort based on R' Tzadok that the concept of being meyached the Shechina with Ain Sof (which the Radomsker and Berdichiver see as the tachlis of our avodah) is what we mean by "lshem yichud... yud-key b'vav key". This is what it means by Amalek that the sheim is not shaleim - we have not yet succeded in avodah lishma=for the sake of unifying the Shem Hashem by uniting the Shechina and Ain Sof.

  3. Anonymous9:39 AM

    I'm not familiar with R' Tzadok so I didn't follow what you were trying to say, but the Bnei Yissasschar says (what sounds to me like) a very similar idea regarding Amalek preventing the yichud of the Shem. It's on his first piece of Chodesh Adar. He explains the meaning of "ki yad al keis ka" and the medrash that Esther cried "Kaili kaili lama azavtani", as well as the "much rush" gemara. Absolutely incredible vort - even if you don't like chasidishe torah. He doesn't really get into what "Amalek" is, though.

  4. Anonymous12:24 PM

    The Sfas Emes takes this same "extreme" approach.