Rabbi Zalman Gutnick was Guest Speaker at Chabad of Melbourne CBD's Lunch and Learn
Rabbi Zalman Gutnick spoke today at the Chabad of Melbourne CBD about "The Secret to
Jewish Unity". He began with the famous teaching on the pasuk "Vayichan shom
Yisroel neged hohor", loosely translated as "The Jewish people camped opposite the mountain". However the word "vayichan" literally translates as "and he camped" in the singular tense. Rashi, the most famous commentary explains that the Jewish people were like one man with one heart.
Now, this took place when the Jewish people arrived at Mount Sinai on Rosh Chodesh
Sivan. This was and is the preparation to receive the Torah- Jewish unity. How do Jewish people unite- through the Mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel, to love your fellow Jew as your-self, which is in-fact the main principle of the entire Torah.
The Gemmora tells us the story of the convert who came to Shamai and asked him to teach him the entire Torah on one foot and he pushed him away, then he went to Hillel who told him "what you do not like done to yourself do not do to others, the rest of the Torah is an explanation".
Based on the Mishna in Pirkei Avos "Any Torah which does not have work together with it, will eventually become nulled" he explained that "work" is referring to Ahavas Yisroel. One has to "work" on himself to love a fellow Jew. It's not enough to help another Jew only when he comes to you for help, rather a Jew has to be G-dly, which means to emulate the ways of Hashem by initiating favours and looking out for other people who are in need of help.
The entire Torah was given to make peace in the world and the Mishna says one has "love peace and chase after peace" A Jew has the capacity to do this because he has a G-Dly soul which is a part of G-d, even if he doesn't feel it it's there, it just has to be revealed.
Reb Elimelech of Lizensk once said "hear what is being said in the heavenly Yeshivah, one has to love a complete rasha as much as a complete Tzadik", because even a rasha has a G-dly soul- it just has to be revealed.
He concluded with an interesting point. The first Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed because of the three cardinal sins- forbidden relationships, bloodshed and idolatry. The second Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed because of baseless hatred. The first exile lasted only seventy years whilst this exile has lasted almost two thousand years! The way to end this exile is through increasing in Ahavas Yisroel for no reason and then we will merit the coming
of Moshiach right now!