Section:  Avodah   Category: Ahavas Yisroel
Rav Shlomo Volbe - A Smile Can Bring The Galus To Its Knees
The whole world exists, says Rav Volbe, on the smile of Hashem, His He'oras Panim.  We say in Shmoneh Esrei, "B'Or Panecha Nasata Lanu Hashem Elokeinu... U'Bracha, ViRachamim, ViChaim, ViSholom", with the light of Your face, kviyachol, You gave us... blessing, mercy, life, and peace.  In Birchas Kohanim the brachos also revolve around this same theme, "Ya'er Hashem Panav, Yisa Hashem Panav...".  On the opposite side we know that when there is Hester Panim, when Hashem hides His face, our fate becomes one of terrible tragedy and misery beyond comprehension.

The same thing, says Rav Volbe, applies to people.  Within a person lies a treasure house of Bracha that is given over to the next person through his smile.  The main power of a person is to gladden and light up the people around him with his warm smile.  From the earliest age a baby can discern between various expressions.  Smile at a month old baby and it will coo in delight.  Make an ugly face and the baby is sure to break out into tears.  A child that is raised without a smile will not grow, just as a plant will not grow without sunlight.  Who knows, asks Rav Volbe, if the smile is not more critical to its development than food?

A student needs the smile of his rebbe, and a child the smile of its parent.  Every person needs the smile of his friend, neighbor, and acquaintance.  Even parents and teachers are infused with life by the smile of their charges.  This is all that we daven for from Hashem, and it is what we should give to others.  Your neshama is a Cheilek Elokai MiMaa'al and your smile in a small way gives Hashem's Heoras Panim to another.  We all need to be on the receiving end of a warm smile to survive and to grow.  

The Bais HaMikdash was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam, the terrible Hester Panim among people which led to Hester Panim from Hashem.  Let us all try, during this terribly sad week as we see Hester Panim all around us, to shine some of Hashem's light on the world.  Let's make a an extra effort to smile at our children, our friends, and people in the street even if it is totally out of character for us.  From of all the ingenious schemes that our busy minds devise to try to bring the ultimate geula, who would of ever thought that we can melt the long, bitter, and cold galus with but a warm smile?