By Rabbi Yehoshua Berman
פינחס בן אלעזר בן אהרן הכהן כה:יא The Targum Yehonasan says that Pinchas is Eliyahu Ha’Navi and will live forever. The Chasam Sofer (shu”t, 6:98) says that, at times, Eliyahu Ha’Navi appears in this world without his body like a malach, and sometimes he appears in this world with his body. When he appears in this world with his body, then the rule lo ba’Shamayim hi is not applicable. For when he appears with his body he is like any other of the great Chachmei Yisrael who can transmit the mesorah and teach the halacha.
The Brisker Rav (al ha’Torah) explained in a similar vein that the pasuk, sifsei kohein yishmeru daas v’Torah yevakshu mi’pihu, is talking specifically about Eliyahu Ha’Navi, and that through him the mesorah will eventually be fully restored. The Targum Yonasan on that pasuk indicates that at the time of Mashiach, the Torah will be a Torah shleimah, and there will be a tremendous renaissance of Torah. This is Toraso shel Mashiach.
The words of the Rambam, at the end of Hilchos Melachim, also reflect this idea. The Rambam writes, “At that time, there will be no famine or war, no jealousy or competition, for goodness will abound for all and enjoyable things will be as numerous as the particles of dust, and the occupation of the entire world will be singularly focused on achieving knowledge of Hashem, and for that reason, the Jewish People will be great sages and knowledgeable of all the hidden matters, and they will achieve knowledge of their Creator to the full extent of which humans are capable, for the entire world will be filled with knowledge of Hashem like the waters that cover the ocean.”
(From the notes of Reb Daniel Fast)
Quotables “An aveirah is far more destructive than the most powerful nuclear bomb.”
Vignettes “For quite some time, I felt like there was something missing in my learning. Something that I still needed to get that I hadn’t found yet. I thought of a certain Rosh Yeshiva who has a unique approach to delving into and building an exceedingly comprehensive, in-depth understanding of each sugya – coupled with a very unique way of expressing his thoughts – and wondered if perhaps by him I would find what I was looking for.
I happened to have been aware of the fact that opinions regarding this particular Rosh Yeshiva’s approach were quite divided. There are those who swear by him, and those who are opposed to his approach. I wanted to talk to someone about it, and the only person I could think of that I felt could give me a truly honest, balanced opinion was Rav Twersky. I felt that since he knew this Rosh Yeshiva and really understood his unique approach, he could best advise me.
So, I called Rav Twersky and asked him if he felt that this is something that I ought to do. “To say that you need to do it,” Rav Twersky told me, “I don’t think so, since, after all, nobody else learns that way. That being said, if you feel that this is something that is right for you, then jump into it with two feet!” Rav Twersky added another point, “But make sure that you are understanding what he is saying, and that you can explain the ideas in your own words.” So, I went to go learn by this Rosh Yeshiva.
Whenever I would see Rav Twersky, he expressed interest and would ask me how things are going, to which I was, baruch Hashem, able to respond very positively. But after only one summer zman there, I got an offer to learn with a bachur for pay elsewhere. I didn’t know what to do, because finances were quite tight then. So, I once again turned to Rav Twersky to ask for guidance.
Inwardly, I was hoping that he would tell me to have bitachon and just do whatever is best for my own learning, but that’s not what happened. “It sounds like you’re really stuck between a rock and a hard place,” he told me. “On the one hand, you certainly cannot just ignore your family’s financial needs, but, on the other hand, it would be such a shame for you to give up on learning by this Rosh Yeshiva since it is going so well for you.” Then Rav Twersky gave me a bracha that everything should work out, and that I should be able to somehow attend to both concerns without one detracting from the other.
And that’s what happened. I started learning with that bachur, and during night seder I would go to learn by my new Rosh Yeshiva. When I shared with Rav Twersky that I had indeed found a way to work everything out, he was so happy for me. The truth is, it seems to me that ever since I got that bracha from Rav Twersky, my financial situation has taken a turn for the better.” (A Talmid)