Thursday, January 12, 2017

Parshas Vayechi - A Song Of Thanks - Pischu Li Shaarei Tzedek

Shalooommmm sweeeetest friends!!!!

I would like to dedicate this email li-ilui nishmas HaGaon Rav Moshe Schapiro ztz"l who was niftar this past week. I have been learning from him intermittently for over 25 years and have no words to express the effect he had both on me personally and on the generation. He was not only "holding" in kol hatorah kulah, both revealed and hidden, but he was also ON FIRE with his Emunah and understood how important it is to talk about Emunah in a profound way. He inspired thousands and thousands and it is not an exaggeration to say that nobody can replace him. He will be missed but thank G-d we still have his recorded shiurim and countless talmidim to transmit his Torah on. However the person - how much he will be missed!! There is a lot more to say and hopefully I will return to this special Gadol and expand upon his greatness and effect he had on so many people in a future essay.

A huuuuuge mazel tov to my beloved friends R' Kovi and Nechama Fleischman on the birth of their daughter Toba Aliza!! May she grow up to be filled with simcha, light and holiness and give her very special parents, grandparents and other family much much nachas!! 

Also, I join in the sorrow of Mr. Melvin Neumark and Mr. Avery Neumark on the passing of their wife/mother. Reb Avery taught me [and countless others] how to lein from the Torah and for that I will be eternally grateful. May the family know no more sorrow.

On to happier things..... I sent out an email asking everybody to daven for my beautiful 2 year old daughter Adina who was rushed to the emergency room last Shabbos. It turns out that had a few more hours passed without treatment she would have lost her leg רח"ל! I cannot possibly describe how grateful I am to Hashem for saving my daughter. And of course to all who davened on her behalf. I must also mention Shaarei Tzedek hospital who were Hashem's faithful messengers.

Next time you are thinking of buying something that you really don't need or pampering yourself in some other way - remember that if you match that sum and give it to a hospital you can save a person's leg/s, or eye/s or hearing or even their life. Money is just paper but it can buy life and well being. A large percentage [although not all] of problems would be solved if money was just spent more wisely. How much is a leg worth? PRICELESS. And my daughter's was saved because good people donated their hard earned money to the hospital. Please consider my words:-). 

Maran HaRav writes [סידור עולת ראיה] on the words of tefilla where Dovid Hamelech thanks Hashem and brings a korban toda:

מזמור לתודה, הריעו לד' כל הארץ

אע"פ שכל אדם הוא פרטי, סגור בעניני עצמו, מרגיש לעצמו בעצמו את מכאוביו וענוייו, וכמו כן הוא בעצמו, יותר מאחרים, מרגיש את שמחותיו, אבל הלא הוא ג"כ כללי, מדיני, משותף בחיי החברה ופועל עליה. אשר על כן כל הופעה לטובה ולברכה, לישועה, ולהארה רוחנית, הבאה מתוך ההתרוממות הנפשית, היא מוכרחת להתפשט על חיי הכלל כולו, על ידי האמצעים השונים של הובלת הרגשות מאדם לחברו. וכל חלק קטן מהתנועות הרוחניות הללו הולך הוא ומצטרף לחשבון גדול, עד שהוא פועל את הרשם הרצוי לההגברה של האצילות העליונה, ושל הקדושה של דעת ד' העליונה, ההולכת ומפלסת לה את נתיבה בעולם ע"י כל מהלכי ההויה, של כל עניני הכלל ועניני הפרט, ע"כ הד הקול של מזמור לתודה, גם בהבעתו היוצאת מהמית לבו של היחיד, המלא רגשי תודות לאל המושיע והעונה בעת צרה, הולך הוא ונשמע בתור הד קול כללי, המקיף ועולה, עד כדי המדה הכוללת. הריעו לד' כל הארץ.

We learn from the Rav that man is a social animal [and if he is a professional boxer - just a plain animal]. When we feel gratitude it must spread to the entire community. From there it spreads yet further to the ENTIRE COSMOS. Then, everything joins together in expressing appreciation to Hashem for all of His kindness. 

So Dovid Hamelech said: מזמור לתודה - A song of thanks. When I want to thank Hashem after being saved from a potential disaster, it doesn't remain personal. It spreads to הריעו לה' כל הארץ - ALL of the EARTH [even nature] joins in singing the praises of Hashem. 

Well beloved brothers and sisters - I want everyone to join me in thanking Hashem. I thank Hashem for my daughter Adina who is the most beautiful child I have ever seen [Note: I admit extreme parental bias]. I thank Hashem for her health and for her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development. I also thank Hashem for the countless other brachos He has bestowed upon me. [Please - no ayin hara's and no jealously. I also have a lot of problems that you wouldn't want to have. And I thank Hashem for them, too!].

When I have a few dollars in my pocket, I will bli neder make a seudas hodaya or kiddush in shul to thank Hashem for this yeshua and so that Jews can eat. EVERYBODY is invited and I will imy"H inform everyone when it happens. Hopefully soon [maybe I am on a roll and Hashem will lay a financial yeshua on the health yeshua].

I want to bless everyone that you should all have yeshuos in everything that you need and see אך טוב וחסד - pure kindness all the days of your life. 

To continue this theme I will share a favorite vort on this weeks Parsha. It says in Parshas Vayechi [48/15] that Yaakov blessed Yosef. But then we read on and see no bracha. Rather - Yaakov blesses his children, Menashe and Ephraim. יברך את הנערים etc. Why didn't he bless YOSEF as he said he would???

One answer is that he did. For the greatest blessing for every parent is when their children are blessed.....

I would like to bless us all that we should be zoche to have children, see bracha from our children, and to love all Jewish children because they are the most pure and most holy. The pasuk says אל תגעו במשיחי - Don't touch [i.e. hurt] my anointed ones. Who are these Moshiachs? Chazal say - אלו תינוקות של בית רבן - These are young school children. 

The Rav ztz"l explains [in a speech he gave at the opening of a school 112 years ago and published in Maamarei Hari-iyah] that the effect of the oil, the status of being anointed - last for all times.

"אל תגעו במשיחי אלו תנוקות של בית רבן". 

המשיחות איננה פעולה עוברת, שדיה שעתה. היא מסומנת בזמנה ופועלת בכל התקופה הארוכה של פעולת המשיח. מנין לכהן גדול שנטל משמן המשחה שעל ראשו, ונתן על בני מעיו, מנין שהוא חייב? שנאמר "על בשר אדם לא ייסך". אמר לו רב אחא בריה דרבא לרב אשי: מאי שנא מהא דתניא כהן שסך בשמן של תרומה, בן בתו ישראל מתעגל בו ואינו חושש? אמר לו, התם "ומתו בו כי יחללהו" כתיב, כיון דחלליה הא איתחיל. אבל גבי שמן המשחה כתיב: "כי נזר שמן משחת אלהיו עליו", שמן משחה קרייה רחמנא דאע"ג דאיתיה עליו. לא איתחיל". נזר אלהיו היא המשיחות שמן משחת קדש גם אחרי עבור השעה המברקת, שעת הפרחים, זמן המשיחה, וכך הוא משפט הילדות המאושרה כשהיא מתנהלת בערכה הראוי, לא להשביתה מטהרתה על פי החשבונות הרבים של החיים הגסים והכעורים שבחברה המקולקלת, כי אם לשמרה בקדושתה וטהרתה באופן שתשא פרי קדש הלולים לאישות לכל חליפות תקופותיה אל תגעו במשיחי אלו תנוקות של בית רבן. זהו מבט שלם, עברי, על החנוך בכלל ועל החנוך הארץ ישראלי בפרט, ויותר מכל אלה על החנוך שבקרב הישוב החדש, שבו צבורים הררי עז של תקוה לעמנו וארצנו.

To summarize: The gemara says that after the kohen was anointed on his head with the Shemen Hamishcha - the holy oil which was used to anoint him, the oil may not be rubbed elsewhere on his body. Even though the mitzva was already performed - the oil remains holy [unlike Terumah oil which is deconsecrated after initial use]. So too, we try to educate our little משיחים, anointed children in such a way that their holiness last into adulthood and beyond. 

May we merit to see all of our beautiful children [because the truth is that every child is the most beautiful] develop into holy Meshichim for all times. 

Love and blessings and a blissful Shabbos to to all and I hope to see you when I am in the New York New Jersey area next week

Me  

Here is a picture of my Meshichim. Adina'le is being held by my wife. Standing next to her is Chana Leiba. The Kallah is Gila. To my left is Shmuli and sitting is Simcha. Avraham Mordechai couldn't make it. He was probably learning kabbala in order to hasten the coming of Moshiach so it was for a good cause.... Much nachas for us all!!