Thursday, July 14, 2016

Living With Emunah

לזכות שושנה בת דבורה גיטל וכל משפחתה, ברכה והצלחה וכל טוב סלה!

Many years ago, Rav Shlomo Volbe, who was at the time the mashgiach at Yeshivas Be'er Yaakov, was talking with the Tzadik Rav Chatzkel Levenstein, mashgiach at Yeshivas Ponovitch, and asked him what message he should convey to his students. Rav Chatzkel told him to tell them that Hashem exists....

It might sound odd that religious boys who spend day and night davening and learning need to be told that there is a G-d, but the reality is that people need to be CONSTANTLY reminded, day and night and TOIL in order to constantly bolster their faith. Emunah is not like gender on a form where you put an check in the appropriate box. Believer - check. It is much more than that. We all believe in the existence of the planet Mars but what effect does that belief have on our lives? 


Hashem's existence must permeate every thought, speech and behavior. The boys need to be told and told again that Hashem exists. That is why Rav Chatzkel was constantly giving talks in the bastion of Torah, Yeshivas Ponovitch, about Emunah [you can read them yourself in the sefer Ohr Yechezkel - Emunah]. Even Ponivitcher's need to strengthen their faith - not only people on the Aish Discovery program.

The Chazon Ish had a sharp definition about 3 mashgichim in his time. He said that Rav Dessler [who was a towering intellectual] had Emunah in his head. Rav Elya Lopian [a man of tremendous regesh] had Emunah in his heart. And Rav Chatzkel had Emunah in his HANDS. For Rav Chatzkel, Hashem was almost PALPABLE. That is what the pasuk says about Moshe ויהי ידיו אמונה - His hands were of Emunah.   

When Rav Chatzkel was 17 years old he heard a talk from Rav Yerucham Levovitz in the Mir on Emunah and said that NOW he knows what his life task is - to constantly work on his Emunah. That is what he did and he got very far. Rav Volbe said that he "suspected" him of everything [good..] - even Ruach Hakodesh. THOUSANDS of times people came to speak with him and he answered their questions before they managed to ask. When you have true Emunah then the barriers of nature don't get in your way.

If you are not there yet then you have your work cut out for you. 


[See more in the sefer אבני שלמה]