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FRUMToronto Articles Thoughts for the Week

Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.

Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Self Improvement
As the Nine Days have now commenced, we provide the following thoughts for reflection--and action.  They involve matters relating to matters both Bain Odom LaMakom and Bain Odom LeChaveiro which are timely to this period:

1.    In the recent Torah Video Shiur given on behalf of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, HaRav Avraham Chaim Feuer, Shlita, noted that one should be “Meitzar VeDoeg” over the Churban Bais HaMikdash and our exile.  He explained that the word “Meitzar” refers to a feeling of suffering for the past, and that the word “Doeg” refers to worry for the future, as we continue to spend our precious lives in Exile and do not know what the next day will bring politically, socially, economically, or otherwise.  Although we may currently, B’li Ayin Hora, be living through our most comfortable Galus in almost 2,000 years, the fact of the matter is that it is still Galus.  Accordingly, any brick homes, cinder block buildings, wrought iron construction, which may appear quite permanent and everlasting, is only, in fact, being looked upon with Olam Hazeh-type of eyes.  Rabbi Berel Wein, Shlita, relates that when he was building his Yeshiva in Monsey, New York, the contractor asked him whether he should use Canadian wood or Swedish wood in its construction, and explained to Rabbi Wein that although the Swedish wood was substantially more expensive, it could last hundreds of years.  Without hesitation, Rabbi Wein opted for the cheaper Canadian wood, and asked the contractor in amazement “Hundreds of years?! Who do you think I am building this building for?  The next ethnic group to take over Monsey?!”  If world leaders (including leaders of the “free countries”), have not reminded us of it enough recently, we must remind ourselves that we are and remain Wandering Jews, chased, persecuted, and cursed in Galus.  Rabbi Feuer compared Yerushalayim to the Sun.  Just as the Sun is the center of the solar system, exerting a gravitational effect on planets even hundreds of millions of miles away, so, too, Yerushalayim was a place to which our bodies and souls were (and will be) directed spiritually.  With the building of the Third Bais HaMikdash, our goals and directions will be clear.  We will no longer be blowing in the wind.  Rabbi Feuer referred to the Chazal (Brachos 3A) which teaches that when K’lal Yisroel answers “Yehei Shemai Raba Mevorach…” with Kavannah, when they daven for Kavod Shamayim to return, and for the removal of the Chilul Hashem which exists with the King’s children in Galus, then Hashem Himself laments over the Galus, and desires to bring us back to our natural existence in Eretz Yisroel.  Of course, when we sincerely pray for the Geula in the many places it is referred to in davening (in many of the middle brachos of Shemone Esrei, as well as the Yehi Ratzon at the end of Shemone Esrei), we are similarly davening for the return of Kavod Shamayim and Kavod Yisroel.  This then is a very important avodah for the Nine Days.  Indeed, a more emotional person should be able to bring himself to cry a few times during this period, because in this Galus, there is plenty to cry for, plenty to cry about.

2.    From a Bain Odom LeChaveiro perspective, we all know that Sinas Chinam was a primary cause of the Churban Bayis Sheni and this Galus of almost 2,000 years.  Many of us undoubtedly plan to attend the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s Worldwide Tisha B’Av Event “What Tisha B’Av Should Mean to You” together with our local communities, which is undoubtedly a Kiddush Hashem of great magnitude.  There is an entrance fee associated with the event, which helps support the Foundation’s outstanding and unparalleled activities throughout the year.  We suggest, however, that it is a payment in exchange for making your Tisha B’Av, and ultimately your life, a more meaningful one.  We would like to therefore propose that sometime in the Nine Days before the event, you also make a separate, stand-alone donation to the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation for its activities on K’lal Yisroel’s behalf in fostering Ahavas Yisroel and Bain Odom LeChaveiro throughout the year.  You will then have a real chelek--you will be a partner--in the Foundation’s holy activities, and, BE’H, in the speedy rebuilding of the Third Bais HaMikdosh.  You will demonstrate that Ahavas Yisroel is of primary importance in your life, that you know the lesson of the Churban, and that you want to improve in this area, together with the rest of K’lal Yisroel.  Take the  effort, and make the donation.  Please see the following link to exercise the opportunity:

May the upcoming days be very meaningful ones for us--and may we do our part--from a Bain Odom LaMakom and a Bain Odom LeChaveiro perspective--in making them so!

Hakhel MIS

Posted 7/24/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week | Comments (0)

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