Friday, October 14, 2016

Ha-azinu: How To Make Changes - Terminal - Dinner On Mars - The Dodgers - A Big Club‏

Shalllooommmmm swweeeetest friends!!!!

This Dvar Torah should be a zchus li-rfuas R' Yehoshua Meir ben Rochel Soroh and R' Noach ben Chaya Leba!!

Also a zchus for
R' Shmuel Binyamin Ben Tishna Rochel Leah
R' Aharon Yisroel ben Moshe Mordechai
R' Moshe Yehuda ben Pesha Dina
R' Yehuda Yaakov ben Dina Chasha
R' Yaakov ben Avigdor
R' Yisroel Tzadok ben Shulamis
R' Avraham Yitzchak ben Esther
R' Yosef Ezra ben Esther
R' Moshe Gavriel ben Yehudis
Elana Simone bas Miriam

In this weeks parsha, Haazinu, we read that Hashem is correct in His judgements: אל אמונה ואין עול צדיק וישר הוא - He is a G-d of faithfulness and there is no injustice with Him, He is righteous and honest.

The gemara [Tannis 11a] relates what will happen after we depart from this world. [I suffer from a terminal illness called "life". What about you?? Li-chaimmmm!!!! I often think of the word "terminal" when I see them at airports. Like, why would the airline companies want to remind people who are afraid of flying that they are in a "terminal". Li-chaimmmmm!!!]. We will come before Hashem and He will tell us every last deed we did and we will say "Hein" ["Yessir - we did it!!"]. We will then sign on it as the passuk says ביד כל אדם יחתום. We will also justify Hashem's judgment and say "Hashem - you are 100 million percent correct in judging me severely for what I did".

This gemara strikes me as odd [but then again I am under slept, overfed, under worked, not paid, with an affinity for singing really loud in the public mikva showers, so given all of the variables of my life, many things are odd. I am also a lefty and am called "Ally" by family and friends which is a girls name]. Would we think for a second that we would DENY doing what we did? How can one deny reality?? And why is it necessary to tell us now what will happen THEN. I mean, live and let live!! Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you will have a hangover!!

There is a very important message here. 


People are often inclined to deny or at least fudge their indiscretions, faults, failings, inadequacies etc. etc. One of the most powerful experiences a person can have is owning up completely, 100 percent, absolutely, to one's failings, without any justifications or excuses. Not blaming one's spouse, parents, society, teachers, Obama, traffic, the Dodgers [is it true that they moved out of Brooklyn?? Last time I was in Flatbush I davened in Landau's and asked around where Giants stadium is and people just looked at me funny. Do religious Jews not follow baseball or did the Dodgers move?? Or both?] etc. etc.

A man goes to a church basement and proclaims to a few dozen people "My name is Justin and I am an alcoholic". [Did you hear about the "plastic surgery anonymous" meeting? The leader of the group said "Hello and welcome. I see a lot of new faces here and I am NOT happy about it". Credit - Eli Ginsburg]. That is the FIRST STEP to recovery. Owning up to our mistakes. Otherwise we just relegate everything we do wrong to the back of our minds, blame other people, make a million excuses etc. etc. and therefore never grow. How utterly pathetic...

So the gemara says that at the end of days we will see things as they really are with nobody else to blame. We will take complete responsibility for our wrongdoings. No fudging, no excuses.We even sign on it. It is completely binding. We don't even blame Hashem [as we often do] but accept that He was 100 justified in giving us the judgment He did.

The medrash says that when there is judgment on earth then there is no judgment up in heaven. This means that if we own up to our mistakes and wrongdoings HERE then we will be saved from the extremely uncomfortable fate THERE. HERE, we can fix things. Here, we can make amends. We can ask forgiveness for those who wronged us. [I notice that is almost always the people who have the least to ask forgiveness for that usually ask. The people who REALLY hurt us usually don't ask.... It is often the same model in the Bein Adam La-makom realm. It is the people with the fewest aveiros who are doing the most teshuva and the habitual sinners who seem a peace and at ease on Yom Kippur].

So this is GREATTTTTTT!!! All we have to do is ADMIT that we are not perfect, get specific and then start making changes.

I will take the plunge....

Here goes. [I hold my nostrils closed and close my eyes and JUMP!]

"My name is Elchonon and I get annoyed at Hashem and at the life He gave me because my life is not exactly as I would like it to be". There!! I did it. Welcome to the club. A club of seven billion people whose lives are not exactly as they envisioned.

Now stage two. Accept that Hashem is SMARTER than I am and knows EXACTLY what I need in order to make my tikkun. He also gives me BILLIONS of blessings that I routinely take for granted. [Every cell. Oxygen in the atmosphere. Two guys ate in a restaurant on Mars. The food was GREAT but the atmosphere was lacking... Kidneys that work SUPER. A PANCREAS. Food. Lots of it. Although it doesn't really show on me. Running water. A subscription to Mishpacha Magazine. OK - the last one isn't true. But thank G-d I have a MISHPACHA!! Spell check Etc. etc.]

Now when I get up there I will hopefully be saved from judgment because I fixed it here...

SWEEEETEST FRIENDSSSSSS!!! It is OK to be imperfect. It is WONDERFUL to constantly admit our faults, to apologize to others and to Hashem and to then move on with simcha knowing that we are constantly improving and growing. We become more humble, more grateful, more patient and understanding. A blissful life indeed!

Wishing EVERYBODY a Shabos of bliss.

Bi-ahava rabba,