Friday, August 12, 2016

Seeing Light In The Darkness

Shaaaloooommmm swweeeetest friends!!!!

A huuuuuuuugeeeeee mazel tov to the holy couple R' Simcha and Dana Yusopov on the birth of their ben ha-bechor!!! May the baby grow up to be like his very very very special parents and always be the source of limitless nachas to his whole family, parents, grandparents, aunts uncles et. etc. and all of Klal Yisrael.  


This weeks dvar Torah should be a zchus for all of the special people I have had the pleasure of interacting with on this trip. It has been overwhelmingly touching to experience how special, warm and caring that so many people are. HOPEFULLY [but not definitely] the next dvar Torah will be written from my home base in the land of our Fathers. 

A short vort given the late hour...:-)

People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. 

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This week is called Shabbos Chazon. Why? The simple explanation is that the haftorah starts with "Chazon Yishayahu". But if that is the case then we should call EVERY Shabbos by the first word of the haftorah, so let us look a little deeper. 

The Medrash says that Hashem showed Moshe every generation and their leaders. The Shlah Hakadosh explained that this was in order that Moshe LOOK at every generation and with his positive eye - עין טובה and shine upon them from the light of Hashem. The Ramban [at the beginning of Bamidbar] explained similarly that when Moshe and Aharon LOOKED upon the Jewish people, they were imbued with light and sanctity. 

The Holy Kogiklover Gaon [R' Aryeh Tzvi Fromer who was killed by the Nazis - incidentally, many Gedolei Yisrael decreed that our "Yom Hashoah" is Tisha b'av. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach read a holocaust book one Tisha B'av and felt that it was the right time to do so] suggested that for the same reason we call our Shabbos "Chazon". "Chazon" means to "LOOK". Yishayahu Hanavi looked at the deeds of the Jews and with his holy eyes shined holiness upon them...

I would like to make two points: 

1] In many many Sfarim [particularly Chasidic ones] you see a common theme - the Tzadikim and Chachomim often try to find the positive and the light in Tisha B'av. This vort is no different. Chazon Yishayahu is about the terrible deeds of Am Yisrael but the Kogiklover asserts that Yishayahu sweetened it with his "heilige blik" - his holy perspective. The pasuk in Eicha says בכה תבכה בלילה - We cry at night. Why at night? Maybe because it is at night when the stars shine brightly. That is the purpose of our tears - to reveal the light.  

2] That can be a great Avoda for this Shabbos: To try to see everything - even evil - in a positive light. Nothing exists without a purpose, even evil. Our task is to try to get to that evil - within ourselves and in the world - and fix it. We do so by first finding the light within the darkness and illuminating it so the darkness shines brightly. Even easier for us to do is to look at the good with a positive eye. Chazal tell us how much damage an "ayin hara" can cause [hence our bubbies all constantly invoked the famous guy named "Ken" as is "Ken Ayin Hoorah" (although I don't know what the celebration was about that they always say Hoorah")], so IMAGINE [if I may wax "Beatle-ic" for a moment] how much good an Ayin Tova, a good positive, loving eye can bring. 

So just LOOK. Look at your wife with a loving eyes [better if she sees you as you are doing it]. LOOK at your children, your friends, the Rav in shul, your neighbors etc. etc. with eyes that project love, care, compassion and connection. That may help make this Shabbos Chazon, in the zchus of the Holy Martyr Rav Frommer ztz"l, our last before the geula, Next year we will read Chazon, look back and say "Baruch Hashem, Yeshayahu looked at the Jews with his holy eyes. We were inspired to gaze upon others with our powerful and potent eyes, thus shining a light upon them directly from our souls. This soul-power helped bring Moshaich."

May everyone have a sweet Shabbos filled with serenity and connection to all that is good and just as this Tisha B'av we will eat meat and drink wine [Shabbos is actually Tisha B'av], so too next year may we eat meat and drink wine on Tisha B'av, Bi-yerushalyim Ha-bnuya.

Bi-ahava rabba,