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Spiritual Tools-Komarna-Bitter Torah

The 1st of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yitzchak Eizik [ben Yissachar Berish) Safrin of Komarna (or Komarno) (1800 [1806-1873, according to “Kabbalah: selections from classic kabbalistic works from Raziel hamalach to the present day, by Avraham Yaakov Finkel]). When he was 10 years old, he lost his father, and he raised by his uncle, Rav Tzvi Hirsch of Zydatchov. He became Rebbe in Komano in 1831. He authored Peirush Mahari on Midrash, Likutei Torah VeHaShas, Zohar Chai, and Megillas Sesarim.


My brother and friend! In truth, how bitter are the bitter waters of Torah that pass over us (Paraphrasing Exodus 15:23–25). For in the beginning of the Torah itself is bitter. The reason is so that we can distinguish between one who has a truly Jewish soul and one whose sole issues from the multitude that accompanied Israel out of Egypt. For, “no stranger shall approach here (Numbers 17:5),” and the Torah’s initial bitterness will discourage those who are disqualified from tasting of the precious sweetness of the light of tour of that appears afterward.

It is written in the Berit Menuchah that a scholar who denies the Torah and becomes a heretic, heaven forbid, does so because some of the bitter waters past over him and he drank from them and was unable to bear it, and therefore he studied and rejected.

It is unnecessary to state that at the beginning, when one first undertakes to serve God and accept the yoke of Torah, one tastes of the bitterness of death. Even a completely righteous person must submit to these bitter pains every day and every time and every hour, in order to enter into the light of life in the way of the righteous.

Therefore, accept all this bitterness upon yourself, and the Almighty in His great compassion will let you taste of the pleasantness of the world–to–come while you are still in this world. In this manner all the bitterness will be transformed into sweetness, into light for the soul.

But above all, my brother, keep silent, keep silent. Accept all this in love. Then the light of the King of all life will shine upon you. (Netiv Mitzvotecha, page 109)

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