Teaching and Giving Over
House of Love and Prayer, San Francisco, 5733.
There is such a thing as teaching, and there is such a thing as giving over. Giving something over to someone is much deeper than teaching. The Torah says Moses received the Torah on Mt. Sinai, and he came down, but it does not say he taught Torah to Joshua. It says ‘u’m’sora’ , gave it over to Joshua. This is the deepest depths there is. Sometimes on meet someone on can study with for ten years, they can teach you for ten years and they don’t give anything over to you. Sometimes you meet someone, and maybe they don’t teach you so much but they give something over to you.
Reb Mendele Vorker, the silent Rebbe, was a rebbe for 40 years, and in those 40 years he only spoke eight times. Even those times, on a teaching level he didn’t say anything. At one time he was sitting with his Chassidim for fourteen hours and at the end he said, haShem Echad”. “G-d is One” then he said, “Happy is the one who knows that ‘G-d is one’ means G-d is One”. On a teaching level he didn’t say anything, but when he said “Hashem Echad”. “G-d is One”, he gave it over. We need someone to give over Yiddishkeit to us. We need someone to give over to us, not to teach us that there is one G-d.’
The Torah says ‘Jacob, Yisroel, loved Yosef more than all his children. Naturally today, on the low leveI we are, if a father loves his son, he says to him, “Man” – Oh no, he would never say man, that would be too far out. He says, “Son, I want to do something special for you – buy you a trip to Bermuda!” But what does it mean Jacob loved Yosef more? Listen what Rashi says, All the things which Yaakov learned at the Yeshiva of Shem and Aver he gave over to Yosef. You see, he taught all his children the same information, but to Yosef he gave it over. The Bais Yaakov says the most unbelievable thing. Sometimes the holy prophets knew everything clearly, and sometimes they knew everything, but it wasn’t clear. The Midrash says “Yaakov loved Yosef more than all his children” and it also says God says to Isreel “I love you”. This is my humble explanation. What did Yaakov give over to Yosef? He gave over to him that he should know that God says I love you.
Knowing that God loves you is something you can not get via teaching. It has to be given over to you. So the thing is like this, Yaakov didn’t have clear prophecy, because he was not to know that Yosef was to be a slave. But Yaakov knew that Yosef needed something special, because he was the first Jew in exile.
Chanuka is the one holiday which has no tracates in the Gemora. Every other holiday has a long tractate, even Purim, which is a minor holiday. Chanuka has only about a page and a half in the Gemara. Chanuka is a holiday of giving over. It says in the Krias Shma that you shouId teach your cbilldren when you sit in your house and when you go on your way. Teaching is ‘at home’ and giving over is ‘on your way’ because there is no time for teaching on the way, only time for giving over. Chanuka is teaching and giving over become one, because on Chanuka I have to put lights at the door of my house so that the light the house (teaching) shines into the street (giving over).
When you teach someone you are not sure his light will increase, but when you give over to someone vou know his light will grow. That is why each night of Chanuka we kindle one more candle to shine into the world, until all the streets of the world are full of light.