MISSING IS THE BEGINNING
Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita
There is a sefer from the Ramchal which consists of correspondence he had with various Gedolim of his time. In those times, it was not unheard of that governments would sometimes enact laws that would make it impossible to live a Torah life. Given such tragic circumstances Rav Shaya’le Zon asks the following:
‘We know Hashem created us to fulfil a tikun in this world, and that the tools for doing this are the mitzvos we have been given. What then happens when circumstances prohibit our doing these mitzvos, how can the world have its tikun?’
The Ramchal replies in part that yes, without our doing mitzvos, it would seem impossible to fulfil our tikun in this world. However, there are times when the very not being able to do these cherished mitzvos brings a unique level of tikun that otherwise would be lost. Take for example the episode of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. He was forced to live in a cave with his son for thirteen years, He had no minyan, no shofar nor even matzos. Nothing could have been darker at such a juncture, and yet, what came out of this enforced isolation? The Holy Zohar, the sefer that opened up the greatest secrets of our Torah.
What we can take from this is that when we are thrown into the position of being denied the ability to do Mitzvos, it is the yearning, the ache that such loss creates, that in and of itself is a huge tikun. Not only is this, but the quality of the tikun unique. When we do mitzvos that entail material things and physical actions, these are in themselves finite actions. When we can’t take such action, when we pine to do so, and feel true anguish in our loss, well, then our feelings are infinite, and this creates a wellspring of love for the Eibishter’s Torah that is of a special quality.
We are all feeling such pain. We ache to kiss a sefer Torah, caress the peroches and feel the kinship of a minyan. We must take this pain and realise that with this we bring infinite kedusha into our world.
This is Shabbos Hagodol, an event that has been an auspicious focal point for generations. I well remember the atmosphere of excitement in the Shtieble of the Voidislover Rov Zt”l as the crowds assembled to hear the Rov’s Shabbos Hagodol drosha. It was a highlight for us all, hearing the venerable Rov’s daas Torah elucidated in his clear uplifting manner. There have always been Shabbos Hagodol drosha’s, always, till now.
In 1941 the Kodesh the Piacenza Rebbe Zt”l gave his Shabbos Hagodol drosha in Warsaw amidst the growing devastation that was tragically enveloping Bnei Yisroel. It can be found in his holy sefer Aish Kodesh, and I just want to share with you one paragraph.
“With what I have explained we can understand that Hashem sought the longing of Bnei Yisroel. Human nature dictates that when a person is depleted physically, emotionally and spiritually, when chas vesholom, things are really difficult for him, the longing for Hashem is more readily aroused in him. So it was specifically when the Jewish Nation were in golus Mitzrayim that the Eibishter revealed and showed miracles, so that “You will be able to tell your children.” This served to increase their faith in and longing for Hashem, so that the longing would bring down upon them the greater light from above.”
The Tsaddik’s words are astounding, he was speaking to an olam that faced almost certain death on a daily bases. And he speaks to them of the losing of the Yiddisha neshoma and how this in itself brought about the redemption.
Hashem knows where we are, and hopefully soon we will be able to return to all our cherished mitzvahs, with renewed vigour and love. May our future be one of many mitzvahs, done with fresh and enlivened strength.
I am not able to know why this difficulty has come upon the entire world, no one knows the entirety of Hashem’s Will. However, it is certainly imperative for each of us to make a cheshbon hanefesh. We can look into ourselves individually and work on the small weaknesses that are unique to each of us. There is no blanket ‘one sin fixes all.’ Its time to take the quiet time as we sit locked in, and work on the brokenness that is unique to each neshoma, this will bring our redemption, and we will come thru this with a new regard to whom we are and what we can become.
Pesach is upon us, no one could have ever imagined that we would be facing the challenges that are today’s reality. We will manoeuvre our way thru these deep troubling waters and hopefully stay safe and well. There will be future Pesachs, which will be celebrated with new awareness of what it important. May we be gezunt, and may we share in the coming of the Moshiach, quickly and in our days.