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FRUMToronto Articles Parsha Pearls

Devrei Torah relating to the weekly Parsha.

Blog Image: Thoughts.JPG
Reb Shlomo Zalman Shlach

Hi Kids,                                                                                                                               

The back and forth banter about the summer is funny but I think we are down to crunch decision time and IY"H the plans will be finalized shortly Lítovah. I hope you are all well. Mazel tov to Hunter upon graduating and being the narrator in the play.Mazel tov to Hailey ( and Izzy ) for being the best little sisters of a graduate, in the whole school.                                       
I think this weekís story is a mashal. It is quite a bizarre one but with a very strong message. One of the things Moshe tells the spies to find out, is whether there are trees in the land. Rashi comments that Moshe did not mean trees in the literal sense but rather he wanted them to find out if there were any live Tzadikim living in the land because a Tzadik brings merit to the place he/she is in and may be able to save the inhabitants, thus making it hard, even impossible to conquer Eretz Yisrael. There were many Tzadikim buried there (eg. In mearas hamachpela ), but deceased Tzadikim do not have the same power and influence as living ones ( as it turns out, there were no live Tzadikim there ).                                                              
The great Rabbi Suso hacohen ZT"L of Tunisia relates the following story:  
A chasid, a tzadik, was travelling through a certain town. He approached some Jews in shul and asked them where he might find lodging - someone very frum and careful with kashrus etc. They directed him to a certain address where they assured him his expectations both comfort-wise and religion-wise would be met if not exceeded. The Chasid went to the house and in fact was greeted warmly and treated like royalty. He noted the care with which the meal was prepared and he ate the delicious food with relish and appreciation. He felt very comfortable and relaxed as he laid down in the luxurious bed the maid had made up for him.                                                                                                                                  
 His restful sleep was disturbed around midnight, by a strange noise. Opening his eyes a crack, he noticed through the slightly opened door, the host sitting by a lit candle, sharpening a huge knife. Every so often the man would test the sharpness of the knife by sliding it over his fingernail, and then return to sharpening it. The chasid sat up and opened the door and asked the host why he was so busy with this knife at that hour. The man replied calmly, " Oh this knife is for you". Something was not right here and a sudden fear crept into the heart of the chasid - he may be dealing here with a psychopath. He decided to try to be calm and talk his way out of whatever mess he was in. " I donít understand ", he asked trying to mask the trembling in his voice, " the people who recommended your home to me couldnít stop singing your praises - a G-D - fearing man who constantly does chesed for others - how could you contemplate spilling innocent blood - doing such a terrible sin ?"                                                 
The host continued sharpening, ignoring the question.  The chasid tried a different tactic. "What could you possibly gain by killing me - I am a poor man, I have almost nothing !"                                                                                                                           
The host remained silent as he continued to focus on the knife. Once again the chasid tried reason. " You know youíll never get away with this murder. Those people in shul know where I went and when I disappear, they will suspect you and find my body !"                                                          
The host finally seemed satisfied with the sharpness of the knife. He looked kindly at his guest and said, " Righteous and Holy Rebbe, please donít think of me as a murderer. You insult me when you think that I would kill you for your money. Why would such a great and holy man such as yourself spend his last minutes in this world trangressing the terrible sin of being í Choshaid Bikshairim í ( being suspicious of the innocent ) when you could be judging me favorably ?"  The chasid was speechless. He didnít understand what was going onÖ The host continued.  " Rebbe, you should know that it is true that I am a very good G-D - fearing man who only does good things to everyone. In fact my plan right now is to shecht you for the sake of Hashem and for the welfare of this entire town !"  " You have to be joking ", the now panicked tzadik laughed uneasily.                                                   
The host got up and started to move closer to the chasidís bed. " Let me explain ", he matter-of-factly said. " I have  been inviting guests into my home for 40 years. Never have I been priviledged to host a tzadik of your stature. Now could you imagine that in our local cemetary, we do not have even one tzadik buried there. We donít have anyone to represent us with our prayers and supplications to Hashem. But now after all this time, after having noted your holy and righteous behavior, I knew that I had finally found a real tzadik to be buried in our cemetary. I am doing this for the good of the entire community and Iím sure to be remembered for this good deed forever ". He smiled compassionately as he lifted the knife and stepped closer to the terrorized and petrified tzadik Ö                                                                                                                  
The very strange story ends here. Rí Vallach uses the story to show, by extreme example perhaps, the ironic way with which we treat our tzadikim and elders. While they are alive we , at best, donít think about them and at worst we critisize or even ridicule them. But when they pass on to the next world, we honor them to no end. How poignant is the everyday occurance of people who when their parent was alive, couldnít be bothered with them, or worse, but then after the parent dies they will make sure to say kaddish religiously for the honor of the parent. Letís all make sure that we appreciate our Rabbis, parents and others while they are alive. Need I say more ?                                                                                                         
May we all merit to enjoy and learn from each other until 120. Have a wonderful Shabbos yíall.                                                          I love you all.

Posted 6/19/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Parsha Pearls | Comments (0)

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