Friday, July 22, 2016

It Is Not Only About Kavod


A huuuuuuuuuggge [albeit belated] mazel tov to my beloved friend Rav Dovid Walter and his rebbetzin on the birth of their daughter Sarah Gittel. May she be the source of much nachas to her special parents and whole family!!!

This dvar Torah should be a zchus for the refuah shleima of Chaim Ozer Dovid ben Malka and Alta Yenta bas Chaya Krusha the grandfather and grandmother of 2 close friends [not related] who need a refuah bi-soch she-ar cholei yisrael. And Henna Miriam bas Chana should feel well and suffer no pain for many happy years to come.

It should also be a zchus for 
Jonathan Meiner
Mo Gittelmen
Ari Glaser
Azzi Kimmer
Eli Weiss
Joey Spierer
Josh Elyaszadeh
Larry Likhteinstein
Avraham Novick
Tzvi Shicker
Benny Cohen
Amitai Glicksman
Binyamin Pomerantz
These are my BELOVED chaveirim from Mevaseret who got together and bought me a goodbye present of FIVE THOUSAND NEW SFARIM [digital] so that I can continue learning and researching with the maximal resources at my disposal. I am beyond grateful to them for their generosity. I am especially grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know them and learn with them this year. They [together with the rest of the boys] are a very special group of people and I hope that we keep connected and in touch for many years to come. Next year I don't know if I will have the opportunity to teach so I am especially grateful for the time I had with them.
Thanks guys!!!!! 
I have already benefited from their present both in Israel, in the clouds, in Germany [that is where my plane stopped], in Manhattan, in New Jersey and wherever I go.
In this weeks parsha we read of the attempt Balak made to curse the Jews through Bilaam. He sends him messengers who promise him LOTS of kavod. Hey, you have to know what works with a guy like Bilaam. It is all about kavod-kavod-kavod.

Well, not ALL.

A local charity had never received a donation from the town’s banker, so the director made a phone call.

“Our records show you make $500,000 a year, yet you haven’t given a penny to charity,” the director began. “Wouldn’t you like to help the community?”

The banker replied, “Did your research show that my mother is ill, with extremely expensive medical bills?”

“Um, no,” mumbled the director.

“Or that my brother is blind and unemployed? Or that my sister’s husband died, leaving her broke with four kids?”

“I … I … I had no idea.”

“So,” said the banker, “if I don’t give them any money, why would I give any to you?”

After being promised honor, Bilaam answers [22/18] "Even if Balak gives me his house full of silver and gold I cannot ....". Who mentioned gold and silver, asked Rav S.R. Hirsch??

But that was on Bilaam's mind. 

A devastated-looking man knocks on the door of a woman known for her charity.

"Please, ma’am," he says when she opens up, "can you help this poor, tragic family down the block? The father just lost his job, and his wife is too ill to work. They’re about to be turned out into the cold streets unless someone can pay their rent."

"That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life!" says the woman. "May I ask who you are?"

"Their landlord."

When people love money it drives them to do crazzzzzy things. One of the biggest [if not THE biggest], test of our lives, is to have a healthy relationship with money. One where we rule over our money and not vice versa. Where we see it as a gift from above to be used to comfortably support our families and to help others as much as we can. 

Chazal encourage us not to be students of Bilaam, who had a nefesh rechava, an excessive desire for money. 

Dovid Hamelech cried "Hatzileini mi-domim Elokim" - Save me from making money - domim - my God.


I am in town and if anyone would like to reach me for a shiur, to say hello or otherwise, my number is 646-617- 6085.

I thank my beloved friend HaRav Aharon Chanina Hakohen Finklestein and all of the members of the Teaneck Kollel for hosting me today. 

A sweet shabbos beloved friends!!!