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Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

You ever wonder why sometimes things seem so clear, yet no one else appears to notice? We are living through difficult times and the material world around us is sliding into an abyss of superficiality and empty notions. Yieden have a different reality, one forged by our connection with The Eibishter. Everything comes from Hashem, and we are meant to develop an awareness of this in our everyday lives. The Sefas Emes asks us: ‘why must we sometimes endure exile, distress and troubles?’ The Rebbe answers that ‘the fundamental reason for all exile on a national level and distress and troubles for each of us individually is so that we will recognise that the Eibishter is in control not us. If we don’t appreciate Hashem when things are going well for us, His answer is to hide Himself and let us fend for ourselves in a manner of speaking. Then when things start to fall apart, we realise just how much we need Him.’ The Chiddushei HaRim says ‘if a person would know for sure that Hashem is the source of everything that happens, The Eibishter would not conceal His Presence from that person.’ The situation we are presently living through should coax us into reclaiming the focus of our consciousness of Hashem, tragically this doesn’t sometimes seem to be where we are going. Think back to last Nissan, international days of tefilla were organised so that all Klall Yisroel could declare our acceptance of Hashem at the very same moment of time. Clocks were set, prayer sheets were printed and phones activated. Tzadikim called out and we all placed our hands over our eyes and cried, Shema Yisroel… For me, a Yied born at the very end of the Churban, that moment ripped through all the haze, and I am certain all of you, were moved to your very essence, and we shed tears of pain for all our brethren.

Well, as new fears now sweep through the world, and as we all find ourselves wondering what next, I ask, where is that clarity of vision that drove all of us to accept Hashems Kingship back then? Where are the special Tehillim groups, the added mishabeirachs? In short, where is the urgency?

Gutte Yidden were wont to say, “A verm in chrain meint az dus leben iz zees,” which loosely translates as, “A worm living in horseradish thinks his life is sweet.” What this vertel says is that if one lives in a bitter circumstance, sooner or later he will become convinced that this bitterness is the norm and in fact is sweet. People live sunk in their anger and bitterness until it becomes so second nature that they feel it to be normal.

Fascinatingly, every one of us has their own brand of bitterness, unique and tasted only by ourselves. This is the point of Hashem’s challenges to us. We all are individual neshomos that have unique rolls to fulfil in this world. Mass media, and a world view that excludes any spiritual content has led the world to become numb to Hashem’s call. We sit in the chrain of this golus and only wonder when the government or their doctors will add some sweetness. Gevalt Reb Yied! Hashem is calling us, pleading for us to allow His graciousness into our reality. In Parshas Bo we learn:

“For I have made his heart stubborn… (Shemos 10:1)’

The Toras Avos of Slonim explains that it is the “I” the ego, that makes one stubborn. We find ourselves in circumstances where our self-importance, our “I” blocks our vision and leads us to forget that everything is from Hashem. If we would only harken to the signs, we could see into the veil of the hidden and experience true understanding.

I am fully aware that I am but one small voice, and that my roar has little or no circumstance in the greater world. I write so that just maybe conversations can begin, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential, just so they bring an awareness of some measure of how bitter the Chrain is.

I’ll make this missive short, for I am aware that because of our silent burdens, even reading too much is difficult. I am no great leader, certainly I don’t even deserve to share the shadow of our great Tzadikim. I just ask that the reader let this simmer in your consciousness a bit, and ask yourselves where Hashem has a place in Your Life.

May we all be blessed soon with clarity and understanding, and in the merit may we share in the greatest simcha of all, the Coming of the Moshiach, soon and in our days. Amein!