Teachings of the Sages 21st Tishrei 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON SADNESS AND FEAR

R’ Pinchas said: “V’yordim bo, V’hi’nei Hashem nitzov olov, v’hi’nei Hashem nitzov olov. … Even when a person feels a descent, things are going badly, Hashem is there for him”.*

*Nofeth Tzufim, Ch. 28, v. 12,13 (A), cited in “Chasidic Insights,” by Zvi Akiva Fleisher (C)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 20th Tishrei 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON SADNESS AND FEAR

R’ Pinchas said: “When a person is afraid of something, he is actually subjugated to that very thing. If he is not afraid, he remains above it”.*

*Imrei Pinchas HaShalem, Bereishit 13 (A, B), cited in “Two Types of Warfare,” in In All Your Ways: A Guide to Avodas HaShem, by Yaacov Meir Shechter (B)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 19th Tishrei 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON SADNESS AND FEAR

R’ Pinchas said: “If a person constantly keeps his mind focused on doing good deeds, his mind will be free from thoughts that lead to sadness”.*

*Nofeth Tzufim (A), cited in “Free of Sadness,” at A Simple Jew (C)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 18th Tishrei 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON GOOD AND EVIL

R’ Pinchas said: “When you believe that everything is from Him, blessed be He, then there is no evil or bad at all—there is just all good”*

*Tosefta l’Midrash Pinhas, no. 187 (A), cited in Jewish Spiritual Practices, by Yitzhak Buxbaum, p. 16 (B)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 16th Tishrei 5770

 

Teachings of the Sages – 16th Tishrei, 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON GOOD AND EVIL

“And Yaacov called to his children and said to them, ‘Gather together and I will reveal to you what will be your lot in the end of days.’ So they gathered together and they listened to their father Yisrael” (Genesis 49:1-2). What was the character of this gathering? R’ Pinchas of Koretz, a student as well as a colleague of the Baal Shem Tov, suggested that this gathering can be explained by the Talmudic expression, ‘Aseh oznecha k’afarkesis.’ (Make your ears like a funnel. Strain your ears to hear?listen well to what is being said. Chullin 89a). He explained in the name of his friend and fellow student of the Baal Shem Tov, R’ Nachman of Horodenka, that sometimes there is a limit to what can be accomplished by Yisrael even through prayer. A Jew’s transgressions simply make it impossible for him to bridge the distance between himself and the Creator. What can be done? The distance can be bridged only in one way; by every Jew joining together, hand in hand until this Jewish chain reaches all the way to the Throne of Glory. Then Hashem surely will not be able to ignore our entreaties. This is the meaning of “Aseh oznecha k’afarkesis.” Jews need to learn from the Tribes, the sons of Yaacov who gathered together to hear their revered father’s final words, to consolidate all their ears together until they become one enormous ear. Such an ear is surely capable of hearing everything. Since the Talmud says, ‘All Jews bear ultimate responsibility one for the other’ (Shavuos 39a), in this way nothing will be missed, no nuance neglected. The lessons needed to be learned will be grasped, and we will always be able to help each other to go in a proper path of Divine Service”*

*“Parshat Vayechi,” at Nishmas Chayim (C)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 14th Tishrei 5770

 

Teachings of the Sages – 14th Tishrei, 5770

Two Tzadiks

ON GOOD AND EVIL

“Someone once came to Rav Pinchas of Koretz, zt”l, and asked a question that was obviously troubling him. ‘In Taanis 9, we find that Chazal [our Sages] cite the phrase … “you shall surely give a tenth of your earnings,” and reinterpret the second word as t’asheir instead of t’aser. This alters the meaning to, “Give a tenth, so that you will become wealthy.” Here we have an assurance that if we faithfully give away a tenth of our earnings, we will be successful financially. I have given ma’aser [a tithe] assiduously my whole life. Why, then, have I have not merited wealth?’ Rav Pinchas answered, ‘Let me tell you a true story about my neighbor that sheds light on your question. My neighbor is a wagon driver. He has good horses and he cares for them with great devotion, always providing them with the best food and shelter possible. As expected, the horses have always performed well, and they run with great endurance in all types of weather. One time, the horses failed to follow orders. Although they were hitched to their wagon and primed to travel, they simply refused to move. Since their owner knew that his animals lacked nothing, their obstinacy infuriated him. He figured that they needed to be taught a lesson. He began to beat them, all the while repeating his command that they start moving. An onlooker shouted at the wagon driver, “You are cruel to your animals! They have done nothing wrong! How can you expect them to move if you have the brakes engaged?” This is your problem too,’ explained the Rav. ‘Giving ma’aser can propel one’s financial success forward just as the horses hitched to the wagon will propel it toward its destination. However, if the brakes are engaged at the same time, the driver won’t get anywhere at all. If you are braking by failing to observe Shabbos and kashrus properly, the horses are not to blame for your inability to reach your goal. You must release the [brake] mechanism by doing teshuvah [repentance] and changing your behavior!’”*

*“Stories of the Daf,” in Daf Yomi Digest (C)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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Teachings of the Sages 15th Elul 5769

 

Teachings of the Sages – 15th Elul, 5769

Two Tzadiks

ON GOOD AND EVIL

“Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz entered the House of Study, and his disciples fell into a profound silence. He asked: ‘What were you talking about just now?’ ‘We were saying how afraid we were that the Yetzer [hara, evil inclination] will pursue us.’ ‘Don’t worry,’ said he. ‘You haven’t reached that point yet. Right now, you are still pursuing it!’”*

*Day by Day: Reflections on the Themes of the Torah from Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Thought, by Chaim Stern, p. 9. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston (B)

By Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz

Source: Two Tzaddiks

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