FOOTSTEPS OF OUR FATHERS
HEARING THE QUITE CRY
PIRKEI AVOS PEREK 4 MISHNA 2
HARAV Y. REUVEN RUBIN SHLITA
Vortex: “a whirling mass of wind.” This is one of those words that their very texture seems to grab the essence of their being. Sitting well into weeks of ‘lock down’, one can conjure up many thoughts of how the whirling winds of our isolation are effecting our very being. Days slip by and the borders that have been inscribed with our daily routine become blurred. In this difficult moment we are all caught up with shades of conflicting feelings.
With time on our hands, we all should look into how the gift of time measures up in our personal spiritual quest for connection with Hashem.
In Avos we learn: “Better one hour of teshuva and good deeds in this world than the entire life of the World to Come.”(4:22)
The Sfas Emes tells us that at its simplest meaning, the ‘one hour’ is any hour in which we truly aspire to come closer to Hashem, this is known as an Eis Rotzon (a time of good will). Any moment of ‘this world’ in which we can somehow escape the clutches of the material realm and reach out to The Eibishter is far more precious than all of Olam Habah.
We often feel thrown from pillar to post in this world of Glatt Kosher consumerism. We now find ourselves in a position to recalibrate our own values and perhaps reconnect with values we all hold dear but all too often lose sight of.
The Rebbe Rav Yechezkel of Kozmir Ztl asks us to take a careful look at this Mishnah’s wording. It says, ‘in this world’ rather than the normative ‘of this world’. This conveys the message of how beautiful a moment of tranquility amidst all the turbulence of Olam Ha’zeh can be.
We are all hard pressed to find a ‘safe place’, a bit of spiritual stillness when we are caught up in our everyday pursuits. Finding or better said, creating that space brings a sense of calm quite to our neshoma’s, something extremely precious indeed.
The reader may shrug and say, well that’s all good and said when you have time. But, I have to work hard, and also devote time to my family, how can I begin to spare an hour for such ‘other worldly’ matters?
Well, I think we have all had a bit more time of late, so just maybe we can sit down, catch our breath and get real.
The Yismach Yisroel of Alexander Ztl mentions in many places that the most important thing for a Yied to do when he has thoughts of repentance and drawing closer to Hashem, is to act on that thought immediately. One must do teshuva at the moment one is moved too, and not wait or think that he will shelve that urge and wait till later. We often over think such matters and figure, “Well I’ll turn my mind to such matters later when I am davening, or on Shabbos. All too often we lose that inspirational moment, or feel, of what use is my repentance, I will only mess things up again later. No! Says the Rebbe, act now, with no preconditions. Now is your Moment, the hour, wherein Hashem has gifted you with an urge to reconnect.
I speak to many holy Yidden over the phone on a daily bases, I hear sighs of ‘what could have been” and ‘yeah tomorrow’, sweet Yidden, that tomorrow is now, it is all we have.
This week we have the unique occurrence of Pesach Sheni. This was brought about because at the first Pesach after our leaving Mitzrayim there were a few Yidden who, for no fault of their own, could not celebrate the eating of the Korban Pesach with the rest of the Bnei Yisroel. They came to Moshe Rabbenu and from the depth of their broken hearts cried out, ‘Why are we losing out on doing this mitzvah?’ Their cries reached the Eibishter and in fact, Hashem added a passage into the Torah giving them a second opportunity to bring the korban Pesach. This is an amazing situation, and with it comes a great message.
The Radomsker Rebbe Ztl explains, that it was their total attachment to Hashem’s Torah that moved Hashem to add these laws. If this is the case, asked the Rebbe, if we really feel attached to Hashem and His Torah, if we are truly moved to plead with our entirety, well then, Hashem will once more hear the voices of broken Yidden seeking to attach themselves to the Mitzvos, and the Third Bais Hamikdosh will be sent to us immediately.
May this difficult time, bring forth a new sense of attachment, and with this, may Hashem hear our cry and take us out of this Golus once and for all.