Musar - Ethics of the Sages #9 | Sefat Emet - Bo - Vital Transformation

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Musar – Ethics of the Sages #9 | Sefat Emet – Bo

January 25, 2022

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Eliyahu takes us through ‘Sugiyot’ (discussions) on the Torah in Sefat Emet. Sefat Emet is a monumental Torah commentary by R’ Yehuda Leib Alter of Gur, considered one of the pillars of Chassidic thought. The title of the book is based on his last discourse, which ended with a verse from Mishlei (12,19): "Sefat Emet Tikon La’ad" — The lips of truth shall be established forever.

In this insightful session, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian delves deep into the teachings of the *Sefat Emet* on Parashat Bo, exploring the profound spiritual lessons embedded within the Torah portion. The Rabbi brings to light the concepts of divine control, the importance of embracing challenges for spiritual growth, and the ultimate purpose of our existence: to study and teach Torah.

Rabbi Jian begins by reminding us of the omnipotence of the Creator, emphasizing that every obstacle and challenge we face, including those that seem to hinder our spiritual progress, is orchestrated by Hashem for our growth and refinement. He elucidates that understanding and accepting that even our adversaries are placed in our path by Hashem can empower us to approach life’s battles with confidence and strength.

The discourse explores the notion that the greatness of Hashem is not merely in rewarding the righteous but in utilizing the actions of those who do wrong to benefit those who strive to do right, leading to their spiritual elevation. This perspective is crucial for understanding that the difficulties and ‘enemies’ we encounter are necessary for our spiritual journey, providing us with opportunities for tikkun (rectification) and growth.

Rabbi Jian emphasizes the critical importance of intention in our spiritual practices, particularly in the study and teaching of Torah. He challenges us to examine whether our actions are truly for the sake of Heaven or if they are tainted by personal gain or desire. The session highlights that genuine spiritual work must be carried out with joy and an understanding that every challenge is a divine opportunity for elevation.

One of the most compelling points Rabbi Jian makes is about the nature of free will. He suggests that while it feels as though we make choices, even the feeling of choice is granted by God. This deepens the discourse on divine providence and the intricate ways in which Hashem guides our lives, allowing us to realize that true freedom lies in aligning our will with the Divine.

The Rabbi beautifully connects these teachings to the essence of Shabbat and the transformative power of Torah study. He insists that our time is sacred and must be devoted to learning and disseminating Torah wisdom. Rabbi Jian passionately calls for a life lived in constant spiritual pursuit, where every moment is an opportunity to connect with Hashem and elevate our souls.

In conclusion, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian’s discussion on Parashat Bo through the lens of the *Sefat Emet* offers a rich tapestry of Kabbalistic insights and practical guidance for spiritual growth. He urges us to embrace every moment with purpose, to study and teach Torah with fervor, and to see the divine hand in every aspect of our lives. Through this understanding, we can transform our challenges into stepping stones toward achieving our true potential as servants of Hashem, ensuring that our lives are a continuous journey of spiritual elevation and fulfillment.

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