CHAINED TO ETERNITY
Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita
Wheels within wheels spin in every life, and sometimes, if we just stop for a moment, we can see how everything whirls according to Hashem’s plan and will. Recently the Rubin clan gathered together for a wonderful simcha. My son, HaRav Moshe Rubin, the Rav of Glasgow, did a shiduch for his son Shlomie with Debby Grosskopf, the daughter of Reb Naftali Grosskopf of Golders Green.
I know, for most of the rest of the world this sounds like business as usual. All grandparents kvell with their children’s simchas, and wedding halls are booked months in advance with just such lovely couples. But I am Rabbi Rubin, who has shared his everyday with the readership of the Jewish Tribune for over 27 years, and this simcha happens to be one of special poignancy for those who support this newspaper, so please hold your breath for two seconds and I’ll explain.
When I turned fifty, I was serving as Rav in South Manchester and enjoyed a full life with all its challenges and tribulations. As a birthday gift the Rebbetzin A’H presented me with a gold pocket watch attached to a long gold chain. With this came a short note, “It’s time for you to start writing,” pithy directions to one who had no great writing experience, but probably a lot to say.
A week later, Reb Yankel Grosskopf Z’L, then editor of the Jewish Tribune called me up with what he thought was a brilliant idea. “Rabbi Rubin, as an American born, Hiemisha Rav in a very English establishment synagogue, I bet you have a a lot to share, would you be interested in writing a column for us?” If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that perhaps the good fellow had some insider information about the Rebbetzin’s gift and her brochah. I was taken aback, but with the ‘boss’s’ words fresh in my mind, I figured I should take a chance. This didn’t come easily, not for me nor for the generous Reb Yankel who took the chance with an author who didn’t even know how to use a typewriter, no less a computer. For the first year or so I would send by fax at least thirteen sheets of hand-written pages each week. I was told that everyone feared the moment my weekly contribution would arrive, strewing its pages all over the floor. My large handwriting was seemed to be screaming out for correction especially as my decidedly American spellings ran afoul of “The Queen’s English”. After some time, Reb Yankel plucked up the courage to call and in his sweet and calm way explain to yours truly that the time had come, hold on to your hats, for me to buy a computer! This was muted in the most refined manner but one could hear the exasperation over the phone, the pages of long hand had to become ancient curiosities, the new world had to be faced bravely. I won’t bore the reader with the gory details of how I went and bought my first laptop, and then arduously learning how to work the thing. Suffice to say that the words you are holding in your hands came to the publisher via email, neatly written in a proper document that even changes my spelling when needed.
I had no idea that our new mechatonim, were the children of that wonderful Yied who offered me the opportunity to gain a voice beyond my small community, nor that his confidence, even after all those hand written columns would lead to the books I have been blessed to publish.
All this came together with yet one more strand woven into the tapestry. My daughter was the Shadchen for this shidduch, and worked tirelessly in bringing it all together.
As I approached the Bubba of the Kalah I wished her a heartfelt mazel tov and introduced myself. She knew who I am, and we shared a few words of how her husband Reb Yankel z’l was amused all those years ago at my primitive efforts to convey my thoughts. I thought to myself, wheels turn within wheels, a Rebbetzin gives her husband a gold chain, her words spark him to accept an invitation to act on them, and a caring interested editor calls out of the blue with an offer. The wheels churn, years go by, the two protagonists of the story have left this mortal world and are hopefully looking down from the Olam Hoemess. They must be smiling, two separate worlds coming together, the next golden link in the chain now being joyfully forged. Heartfelt mazel tov wishes are sounded and feet rise in dance. How wondrous is Hashems Plan, how it becomes so clear in moments of clarity.
May we all share in only simchas for many years to come. I especially want to wish the Jewish Tribune family many more years of positive output in a world that suffers from a dearth of Torah True reading matter. All those gifted with the chance to produce and read this wonderful publication should celebrate with us on this occasion, where we all can see the Yad of Hashem clearly bringing His words to Klall Yisroel.