Thursday, January 26, 2017

Be A Faithful Messenger

HaGaon Rav Refael Shmuelevitz ztz"l [a Rosh Yeshiva in the Mir who passed away recently and the son of HaGaon Rav Chaim ztz"l] was very sick with ALS [Lou Gehrigs disease]. There was a certain drug that the doctors were testing out. He agreed that he be treated with this drug, explaining that he had nothing to lose. It worked and once again he could walk and talk. A news program on television wanted to interview him for a story on this new miraculous drug. He wasn't sure whether to agree. For a Rosh Yeshiva like him and in the Charedi world in general, television is as treif as pork on Yom Kippur that falls out on Shabbos [as it should be]. 

So he called in his talmid Rabbi Michoel Sorotzkin [who related this story] and asked him what he thought, explaining that there were very few people he trusted and Rabbi Sorotzkin was one of them. Would it help anybody if he appeared on this program?? He said that he doesn't care what they say in Mir and what they say in Brisk, if this interview will help even ONE Jew, then it will be worth it. Rabbi Sorotzkin said that he believes it will help someone [who will hear about this drug and it will bring a cure to his suffering]. 

Amazingly, he appeared on the program [I saw it]. 

What strikes me about this story is that he didn't care what people would say. If appearing on TV would help someone then he would do it. That is AMAZING because in that world if you are perceived as not being frum enough, then you are OUT and it isn't always pleasant.

What struck me as well was that Rav Refael Shmuelevitz, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of the Mir, felt that there were very few people that he could trust. How can that be?? Every Ben Torah should be completely trustworthy! 

Says the pasuk in Mishlei [25/13]:

כְּצִנַּת שֶׁלֶג בְּיוֹם קָצִיר צִיר נֶאֱמָן לְשֹׁלְחָיו וְנֶפֶשׁ אֲדֹנָיו יָשִׁיב.

Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.

From this pasuk we learn that not only is a trustworthy messenger refreshing, it is also rare - like a snow cooled drink at harvest time [harvest is in the summer].

This is the reality of life. It is exceedingly rare to find someone you can really trust. Everybody has their own personal agenda and it often comes at the expense of others. If you want something done right, the best advice is to do it yourself. 

HOWEVER - we all have the option of being that ציר נאמן, that faithful messenger whom other people know they can trust. My own personal experience in life, after having been let down by many people I trusted, is to really appreciate that rare species of human being who knows how to put the needs of others before his own.  [See שערי תשובה שער ג' אות י"ג]