Rav Shelomo Wolbe, Olam haYedidus (part 4) – Relationship ep. 17
The Beyond Meaningful Relationships – Relationshipful Meaning series at the kloiz meets on Wednesday nights at 8pm EDT.
Even if you missed the discussion so far, this week was a great time to start! Just check out the video in this post, and join us on Wednesdays!
Wednesday night (July 27th, 2022) we completed the section (ב) of an article by Rav Wolbe article (written for the Laniado Hospital’s Torah journal). In it he lays out at greater length the description of the world, the human soul and the Torah that he earlier described in Olam haYedidus.
From there we began to look at Olam haYedidus itself, which continues by explaining sample mitzvos in light of these principles. We started with three mitzvos bein adam laMaqom that are called osos (signs) in the Torah — Milah, Shabbos and Tefilin. Rav Wolbe’s shows that what these mitzvos are signs of is the yedidus between Hashem and the Jewish People. Last we began his discussion of mitzvos founded on the yedidus among Jews.
Next will be Rav Shlomo Wolbe’s discussion of how halakhah reflects our yedidus with the rest of humanity and creation as a whole.
The resource sheet with both versions of Rav Shlomo Wolbe’s essay “Olam haYedidus” is on Sefaria at https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/405067
My translation of the magazine version is available at https://aspaqlaria.aishdas.org/media/RWolbesWorld.pdf
Rav Wolbe opens with a quote from the gemara (Menachos 35a):
יבא ידיד בן ידיד ויבנה ידיד לידיד בחלקו של ידיד ויתכפרו בו ידידים
Let the beloved, son of the beloved, come and build the beloved for the Beloved in the beloved’s portion, and let beloved ones achieve atonement through it.
With all that mention of yedidus, clearly the concept is central to this picture of Judaism. It’s enough for you to get lost in all the repetition! Don’t worry, Rav Wolbe explains how the gemara unpacks this sentence! This is actually a description of the Beis haMiqdash and Hashem’s relationship to the Jewish People. With all that mention of yedidus, clearly the concept is central to this picture of Judaism.
Rav Wolbe makes the point that everything that exists is there because Hashem thought it was worth existing. Everything is precious. And the world of Torah is building up the bitachon and yir’as Shamayim to feel that yedidus to the world around you.
Notably, R Wolbe describes this yedidus in widening circles of connection — the relationship between Hashem and the Jewish People, which establishes a yedidus between all Jews, one of mutual support, and beyond that acting with others in “ways of peace” and our responsibility beyond humanity to all the rest of existence.