Monday, June 19, 2017

Don't Run Away

לזכות רפואת ר' נחמיה בן שרה
 בתוך שח"י 

For many years I was zocheh to give shiurim. A zchus I wouldn't give away for anything!!

Here is one of the "best parts" that happened countless times: I walk in to the shiur room and some of the boys see me, and realize what is about to happen. They quickly hurry to grab their stuff and bolt from the room. 

When I was in America recently I went to give a shiur somewhere [it had been a while] and the same thing. It reminded me of the LOVELY feeling I had had so many times before. There was one fellow there whom I thought I was close with who had come from a long distance to hear a shiur from someone else [before me] but I thought that since he hadn't heard me for years and we were close maybe he would want to stay... 

He also bolted from the room. [I know you are all thinking to be melamed zchus and OF COURSE one should try to view his actions in a positive light but again - this has happened to me with a million different people.] 

Thank G-d many boys came but still - it hurts. It doesn't ruin my day or force me to drink alcohol to dull the pain but it is insulting. Insulting to the Maggid Shiur and insulting to the Torah. Someone works hard to prepare things to say in order to help people understand the word of Hashem and people escape. That is why I like sending Torah emails - I can't watch as people see that I sent something and ignore it in order to open the email with a link to ESPN or some other "important" source [Trumps twitter account? Advertisement for foot powder?].

There was once a darshan who was speaking for a long time. One of the people in shul was the Gaon and Tzadik Rav Berel Kroizer ztz"l [he was from Yerushalayim but served as Rosh Yeshiva in New Square. He authored the GREAT series דבר המלך. LEARN IT!:-)]. He didn't know what to do because shkiyah was gettting awfully close and he hadn't yet davened mincha. He didn't want to leave because that would have embarassed the darshan but he needed to daven. So he unobtrusively inched his way towards the door and with but one minute left to shkiyah he davened mincha in the doorway.

He wasn't sure if he had done the right thing so he went to Bnei Brak to ask the Chazon Ish what he thought. The Chazon Ish was unequivocal. OF COURSE you shouldn't leave. Mincha is only מדרבנן. Embarrassing another Jew is מדאורייתא. [Maybe he meant that he should have davened where he was].

So sweet friends!! If you know that someone is giving a shiur and you are not planning to stay - leave a few minutes before he arrives. Don't cause another Jew pain.

There are yeshivos where the Rosh Yeshiva gets up to give a shiur klali and many of the boys run out. It is an OLD minhag. מנהג is the same letters as גהנם. People would run out even on Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Ztz"l, the previous Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir. The man suffered indescribable pain day and night yet supported the entire yeshiva, traveled all across the globe, made it his business to know many of his thosands of students, attended their smachos etc. etc. and then when he gets up to give a shiur that he painstakingly prepared, people ran out. Ouch.  

Which brings to me my last point. It might sound obvious but I will say it anyway. It is insulting to fall asleep on somoeone giving a shiur. Again - insulting to the Maggid Shiur and insulting to the Torah. If you fell asleep on a first date with a girl as she was talking to you it would also be your last date with her. 

Yet - ALL THE TIME I see people sleeping during shiurim. As a matter of fact - it is rare that nobody is sleeping. If you can't stay awake - then stay home. Your bed is far more comfortable.

 If a person lacks middos he is not a person. He is a behemia and worse. In the words of Chazal "תלמיד חכם שאין בן דעת נבילה טובה הימנו".