Awesome explanation of Likutey Moharan, Lesson 2:8, about ‘rebuking’

Read the footnotes for this one, so you start to understand a little how many ‘secrets’ the Rav is giving over.

But only if a person is willing to work a little bit, to try to uncover them.

I had no idea what the Rav was really saying, until I cracked open the Likutey Moharan…. I translated that main bit of Likutey Moharan too, below.

But please go and read the whole shiur, to start to grasp more of what’s really under discussion, here, and why it’s so important to come and pray with the Rav, and to also participate in the songs and niggunim.

It’s literally cleaning off the soul.

And when the soul is ‘cleaned’, there are very few dinim hanging over that person.


Excerpt of a shiur given by the Rav on 28th Nissan, 5784, after the Ma’ariv prayers

“Raise your voice like a shofar.”[1]

The Rebbe says that in Lesson 8[2] that a shofar is niggunim (melodies).[3]

72 ‘voices’ of niggunim. The Rebbe says that everything is only niggunim, it’s just songs.

People see they are singing[4] – they run away.

The whole prayers is quarter of an hour, from ‘Barchu’ until Shemoneh Esrei, this is quarter of an hour. This is all the prayers. Afterwards, there are niggunim, after this, there is a shiur.

The shiur used to always be a minute, today we stopped during chol hamoed, because of the Sefira (counting the Omer). Now, we are starting to renew the shiurim, to renew the shiurs. Maybe it will help that we we will start to learn a little, what is this with Nadav and Avihu, it will start to interest [people].

Why did they say, that they should die, already?


After all, Esav said, that my father should die already, yemach shemo, this father, what a father I have – he stole the blessings from me, he out-witted me.

When Esav heard his father’s words, he cried out an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, ‘Bless me too, Father!’

But he said, ‘Your brother came b’mrmah (with cleverness) and took your blessing.’ He said, ‘is it because his name was called Yaakov (from ekev – heel) that he outwitted me these two times? He took away my birthright and see, now he took away my blessing!’”[5]

‘B’mrmah’ – this is the gematria of ‘afikomen’.

‘B’mrmah’ is 287, he missed out on the afikomen. Why? Because he tied up tzvi’im (deers).


Esav knew how to hunt deer.

In the end, [instead of bringing Yitzhak venison] he brought dog-meat. The Targum says ‘dog’, because he wanted to catch deer, and each hour he was trapping another deer, and another deer, and tying them up.

But [the Angel] Gabriel came, and untied the knots, until in the end, he hardly had even one deer left. And even that one didn’t stay.

[So Esav] brought dog-meat.

In the end he came, and he missed-out on the afikomen. He missed-out on the afikomen.

You shouldn’t miss-out on the afikomen, I’m cautioning you. You want to run away in the middle of the Seder, I remember. Yaakov ran away in the middle, but Esav came dafka on time. He was a good boy. But this was already after Leil Seder, this was after the afikomen.

He lost everything.


Everything is the afikomen – the afikomen is all the salvations, all the mochin (intellectual grasp / ‘brains’).

This is k’neged (set against the) Korban Pesach. We need to eat two zeitim – [for the] Korban Pesach and Hagigah. One k’zeit we eat [with the blessing] ‘motzay lechem min ha’aretz’. The second k’zeit [we say] ‘al achilat matzah’.

And after this the third [k’zeit] at the ‘Korech’, and there are those who do two times ‘Korech’, so they even eat two zeitim.

So we need to learn the Haggadah before Leil Seder, to understand why [we do what we do].


And the Rambam says to drink the fifth cup.

The Rambam says ‘and there are those whose custom is to drink the fifth cup, the cup of Elijah HaNavi’. And they say Nishmat over this. There are no end of things, and it’s also possible to learn the Mishna Brurah.


The first thing is the Mishna Brurah.

When I entered yeshiva, my father said to me, ‘now you are really going to start learning Gemara.’

Beforehand, I had to know the Mishna Brurah. To know the halachot, the halachot of Shabbat, the halachot of blessings, the halachot of Kriat Shema al ha meita (reading Shma at bedtime). To know the simple halachot, to know what to do!

5.30 is netz (dawn) and at 20.00 it’s already ging to be shkeia (twilight), in another little while. So, it’s possible to learn for 14.5 hours! And after this, another hour for ma’ariv, and then afterwards it’s possible to learn until 22.00.

From 22.00 until 6.00, this is eight hours [to sleep]…by 22.00, it’s possible to finish the whole SHAS. Whoever learns until 22.00, they can learn…


R Chaim Kanievsky learnt just the parsha for a whole year.

So they went to this father [the Steipler Gaon, R Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky] – what,he’s not learning?! He’s not in the yeshiva! We don’t see him at all!

So [the Steipler] went to check things out, what’s happening, with my son? He discovered that he was closed up [in his room] for 12 hours, and that he was learning the commentaries on the parsha.

A person needs to know, that the first thing is to learn all the commentaries on the parsha. Long days like these, now, such long days – instead of being gangsters and criminals and shababnikim and hooligans – there is what to do!

Go and learn the parsha, there are a thousand kooshiot (questions) on every verse.



[1] Isaiah 58:1.

[2] Likutey Moharan II:8.

[3] The explanation in Likutey Moharan reads:

“Now there is soul-nourishment and body-nourishment, and body-nourishment weakens soul-nourishment. This is because body-nourishment, which is food and drink, empowers the heel of the Realm of Evil….This can be rectified by way of the ‘Voice’

The ‘Voice’ waters the Garden where all fragrances and fears grow…this Voice waters the Garden, by way of which all fragrances – which symbolize fear / awe, which is the soul’s nourishment – grow. This is because this Voice subdues the heel of the Realm of Evil, since this Voice is represented by ‘The voice is the voice of Yaakov’, which is why Jacob attained ‘fragrance’, as in: ‘See, my son’s fragrance is like the fragrance of the field,’ which refers to Yaakov. Thus, he subdues the heel of the Real of Evil, as in: ‘His hand was grasping Esav’s heel.’


Now, this voice symbolises the voice of the capable rebuker, as in: ‘Raise your voice like a shofar, and tell My people their transgressions.’

This is because the rebuker who wants to rebuke the Jewish people and tell them their transgressions and sins must possess this Voice, so that he does not cause them a sense of malodorous repulsiveness by way of arousing their sins, as said.

Therefore, he must possess this Voice, for by virtue of this Voice he adds and imbues them with a fragrant odour, for this Voice causes all fragrances to grow, since this Voice waters the Garden, as said.


This is alluded to in: ‘Raise your voice like a shofar’ – specifically like a shofar, for this voice that waters the Garden, which is represented by, ‘A river comes forth from Eden,’ corresponds to the Voice of Song that will be aroused in the future, when the world will be renewed, which is a simple, double, triple and quadruple song.

This is the allusion of ‘KaShofar’ (like a shofar), which is the acronym of pashut (simple), kaful (double), shalush (triple), ravua (quadruple), which represents the Song of the Future, which corresponds to the Voice that waters the Garden, for specifically by virtue of this Voice, he is able to rebuke.

And thus, ‘Raise your voice like a shofar’ – specifically, like a shofar.”

The suggestion seems to be that the Rav’s niggunim are actually ‘rebuking’ the people who hear them, in such a gentle way that they don’t notice, but which still strengthens their souls and weakens their tendence to commit transgressions.

[4] I.e.The singing before and after the evening prayers with the Rav, on Ido HaNavi Street.

[5] Bereishit 27:34-36.

5 replies
  1. Simon
    Simon says:

    What with that previous post, I’m very confused again. Like the other commenter said, Rav Berland and Elmeliach have been saying that the messiah is being revealed in around four months. But now again Rav Berland is saying it will be two hundred years. What is up with this, and why is there a need for the confusion?

    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      Because ‘geula’ comes from within, not just from reading what *some person* says, or writes or publicises on the internet.

      Geula is actually a personal process of redemption.

      Most people today are so brainwashed, they will believe anything if it’s repeated enough by others.

      Real geula is when we free our souls from all the ‘brainwashing’, connect back to Hashem, and ask Him to show us what’s really going on, and what’s ‘true’ – on so many levels, not just ‘who is moshiach and when is he coming?’

      That’s the real work to be done.

      And the people who can’t or won’t do that work will carry on wasting their time with pointless speculation, and / or get stuck with the wrong conclusions, and / or get pushed away from the Rav, in someway, because the Rav represents a very deep spiritual truth, that just ‘reflects’ back at the person their own bad middot etc.

      It’s all a big test.

  2. AK
    AK says:

    This is why I made the decision a long time ago to disregard all predictions and statements about when Moshiach is coming and this is the year of geulah etc… Hashem is the only one who knows who he is and when he is coming. I can just work on myself.

    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      Disregarding ‘all predictions’ is one thing, and that’s probably a very sensible thing to do.

      But I think that disregarding ‘all statements’ is another category.

      If a true tzaddik, someone of Rav Berland’s calibre, says something pertaining to Moshiach, we need to ‘engage’ with it, and not ignore it.

      Whatever that ‘engagement’ actually looks like, tachlis.

      It’s a very narrow bridge. But there’s a reason that the Rambam codified believing in Moshiach as one of the fundamentals of Jewish faith.

      When people stop believing that Moshiach can come at any moment, however much cognitive dissonance that actually causes day-to-day, they can fall to a very low place, spiritually and become poisonous cynics wearing a kippah.

      God forbid.

      BTW, not casting aspersions here at anyone personally, just thinking out loud, a bit, about how hard it is to maintain the balance of ‘believing in moshiach’ without becoming a whacked-out crazy person – or going to the other extreme and becoming a soul-less, hope-less cynic.

      It’s a very narrow bridge.

  3. AK
    AK says:

    Hi Rivka,

    I will clarify, Chas Vshalom I did not stop believing that Moshiach can come at any moment and of course if the Rav says something about it, I engage it. What I meant by disregarding all statements, was that there are so many statements floating around about when it is going to happen and all sorts of predictions and time lines. That is what I am disregarding. One needs to constantly work on themselves to maintain a health balance.


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