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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Where Were You When Rav Elyashiv Was Sick?

I have no recollection or memories of ever standing before the Heavenly Court, so I am not an expert on what goes on there other than the little I've seen of what Chazal tell us. Beyond the words of Chazal there are many frightful stories about the Omek HaDin, the depth and exactitude of the Heavenly judgement, that surprised even the greatest tzaddikim. Based on this I think it is safe to say that when each one of us stand before Hashem on our day of reckoning one question that will certainly come up is, "Where were you when Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was lying in the hospital clinging to life by a hairsbreadth?"

This will not be a simple accusation like other "failure to help another Jew" offenses that we will be charged with. It will be far more serious than that. One may ask, "Rav Elyashiv is over 100 years old, do we expect him to live forever?" This attitude misses the point completely. The severity of the charge is on a number of levels. First and foremost if you've ever been to Rav Elyashiv for a bracha you owe him some of your time. Throngs crowded his home every day to recieve brachos for Refuah, marriage, children, and parnassa.

Rav Elyashiv, from all the gedolim, was a quiet private man. He never asked anything of anyone, his sole desire was to sit and learn uninterrupted. Yet when we came to Eretz Yisroel he let his precious time be monopolized by all of us who felt he was a tourist attraction that we couldn't afford to go home without being able to say we visited. To us it's not a big deal but to him every second was precious, yet he complied with the wishes of the tzibbur. Not only that, but many of us benefited from his brachos.

He now needs us for the first time in his life. Are we there for him or are we too tired or too busy to help? Just like we believed in the power of his brachos under impossible circumstances, we'd be hypocrites to say our Tehilim can't help in his moment of truth, even against all the odds.

Secondly, to give up hope and not to beseech the Heavens for his recovery is a denial of what Rav Elyashiv has contributed to Klal Yisroel over the past century. Not only has he been our guiding light in psak Halacha, but his Torah and unparalleled Hasmada has protected the generation from all sorts of evil. We may not be privy to the Chesbonos of Shamayim but for some reason things have been far better for us as a whole than we can understand why, and Rav Elyashiv is surely a big piece of the puzzle.

Lastly we live in time of great uncertainty and danger. On the national level we have many enemies in the world and few friends. Even our friends don't act out of generosity but rather of self interest, and that means that differences can arise at any moment leaving us alone and stranded. Financially we are in crisis as the world is in flux, and the future holds no promises. On the individual level raising children that follow our footsteps is as challenging as ever. The world is pulling them from there roots with ferocious strength. We should shake and tremble as we ask ourselves what would the world look like without Rav Elyashiv at our helm? In whose merit will we carry on?

Whether our tefilos will be answered in the affirmative or not, whether our wishes are rational or we are asking for miracles, we have plenty of good reason to storm the Heavens with tefila and cry our eyes out. If we don't, we have many questions to ask ourselves now, and many more to answer later.

RELATED ARTICLES:hakoras hatov  observation  Rav Elyashiv  tehilim

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