Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: DAAS TORAH Category:PEARLS OF WISDOM Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Fri, 03 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Rav Meir Chadash - Kavod, Giving Your Friend a Poison Pill?

Kavod, we know, is something to run away from. Kavod corrupts, the quest for kavod destroys everything. So how is it that not only are we permitted to give others kavod, but we are encouraged and even demanded to do so? What about Lifnei Iveir, is there a pill more poison than kavod?

Rav Meir Chadash the Chevron Mashgiach and Talmid of the Alter of Slabodka explains with a Mashal (not exact but this is the gist of it). A poor fellow approaches a wealthy member of the community and asks him for a loan to start a business. The rich man tells him that he'd love to help, but before doing so he needs to ask some questions. What will you use the money for? How can I be sure you won't use it for the wrong purpose? How will your business grow from it? After hearing his answers and being satisfied with them, the rich man writes him a check for the amount he requested.

Six months later the rich man calls the poor man and asks him how business is, and if he ready to repay the loan. "Baruch Hashem business is great and I have the funds to pay back the loan as agreed", replies the borrowers. "However" he adds, "before writing you a check I have a few questions to ask you. What will you do with the money..."

This is almost laughable! When you give someone something out of the generosity of your heart you can ask all the questions you want. But when you give something to someone that you owe him and it belongs to him, you don't ask any questions.

Kavod is not a treat you give your friend based on the generous spirit in your heart. You owe everyone Kavod! Everyone is a Tzelem Elokim and the Kavod is theirs. So when you pay your dues, don't be so brazen to start asking too many questions. Give it to them with a smile and move on!

Thu, 28 Jan 2016 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Binyomin Finkel: Zchus Avos, Zchus Banim, A World Apart

Upon making a Shiva visit to the young orphans of a Chashuveh Rov, the scion of a prominent Rabbinic family who tragically passed away at a young age, the Tzaddik Rav Binyomin Finkel conveyed to them the following thought.

In this world, children of prominent people often get away with many things that other people do not get away with. They get a free pass on their father's coattails. This concept is called Zchus Avos, the prestige of the father covers over the wrongdoing of their children. But that is only in this world.

In the next world when a person comes before the Heavenly throne for judgement and is found lacking, if he dare argue that his father was a great tzaddik it will only incriminate him further. How can the son of a tzaddik, who should know better, act improperly?!

In the Olam HaEmes what carries weight is Zechus Banim, the merit that a father earns from the Mitzvos and Maasim Tovim of his child. Every mitzva a son does, elevates his father higher in Gan Eden, as he has a stake in all of his son's actions, since he raised him.

As we near the end of the Galus, and B'ezras Hashem we will merit Techiyas HaMeisim very soon, orphans will be united once more with their dearly departed parent. When father and son meet again, the father who was elevated in Gan Eden thanks to his son will embrace his son with tears of joy, while the son who disappointed his father and caused him pain in heaven will not be able to face his father.

Thu, 14 Jan 2016 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Meir Shapira - Blaming All The Jews The gemara Yevamos (61a) says "אתם קרויים אדם ואין עכו"ם קרויים אדם", only a Yehudi is called "Adam" and not a non-Jew. Why is this? Are non-Jews not people?

Rav Moshe Shternbuch says that the gemara is not focusing on the term "Adam" but rather the word "Atem", the plural form of "you". The whole Klal Yisroel together is called "Adam", a single individual made up of many parts. We may be spread around the entire globe but we still remain one. Non-Jews do not have this intrinsic unity. Even among a single nation living together, the pain of one does not evoke a cry from another. The plural word for a many Jews remains Adam, a single Jew, while the plural term for many Jews is no longer the singular Adam but rather the plural form Anashin, many people.

Rav Shternbuch cynically says in the name of Rav Meir Shapira that even the non-Jews apply this principle. When a single errant Jew commits any crime, "the Jews" are to blame. However even when many non-Jews of the same persuasion commit a string of atrocities, no one would dare blame their entire ethnic group. Each crime is considered an isolated incident and the person is judged only as an individual and not as a member or product of their upbringing or associations.

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Chaim Zaitchek - The Nes of Passing a Nisayon What defines a miracle? Everything in this world is controlled by Hashem. There is no difference between Hashem's ability to make plants grow or split the sea. What differentiates the two? The answer is that Hashem created a natural order in the world to allow people to believe that Hashem does not exist. An event that breaks the rules is called a miracle. It is Hashem showing us a glimpse of His total control.

Nature is called Teva from the word Tava or drowning. The everyday miracles that Hashem performs in nature and to us individually are drowned beneath the surface, and out of our field of view unless we use our mind to perceive them. The word for a miracle is Nes. Nes means a flagpole. It is an event that stands out in plain view for all to see, unless one chooses to look the other way.

On a similar note the world was created to challenged us to choose good. The word for these challenges is Nisayon. Nisayon has the word Nes in it. What is the connection? The answer says Rav Chaim Zaitchek, is that we all are born with great potential for good. Our challenge is to dig deep down and use these abilities. We are tested as a means to bring this potential out into the world. A Nisayon is an opportunity to show ourselves, Hashem, and the universe the good buried within us. By passing a Nisayon we have created a Nes!

Wed, 05 Dec 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Isaac Sher - The Beauty of Suffering & the Torment of Gehinom Chazal tell us the a lifetime of suffering in this world is less painful than even a moment in Gehinom. How can we compare suffering in a physical world to the suffering in a spiritual world, it is not a real comparison. Are we really comparing degrees of heat?

Rav Isaac Sher explains that there is a big difference between suffering in this world and suffering in the next world. Gehinom he says merely cleanses you of your aveiros. Once you are clean however, you are the same person you were before, only without the stains of your misdeeds.  You are on the same low level.

Not so with suffering in this world. Through our suffering we grow and can reach new heights. We contemplate our pain and open new vistas of understanding of Hashem and our purpose in the world. Each step of our purification brings us closer to Hashem in ways we would have been unable to without the pain.

Maybe this resolves our question. While suffering in the next world is a punishment for our sins, suffering in this world is an opportunity for advancement. Therefore all the pain in this world which is steeped with opportunity cannot be compared to even a single moment of the hopeless of Gehinom.

Sun, 02 Dec 2012 03:00:00 +0000
What is a Levi and How to Become One - Sefer HaChinuch & The Rambam

The Torah says that aside from the six Arei Miklat set aside for refuge for those who murdered by accident, any of the cities belonging to the Levi'im serve the same function for any accidental murder who seeks refuge there. Why is this?

The Sefer HaChinuch says as follows (paraphrased).

-  Because they are men of heart and are known for their exquisite Middos and honorable wisdom, it is clear to all that they will not hate the murderer who has sought refuge by them and they will not lay a finger on them, even if they murdered one of their loved ones or their relatives, since the murder was suddenly and without any malice.

On this special Shevet it says (Zos HaBracha 33:9), "HaOmer L'Aviv U'L'Imo Lo Re'esiv", who said of his father and of his mother I have not seen him, meaning they will never do anything in the world other than what is just and with exact truth. Love for another human will not steer them, not even the love of a father or mother, bothers or sons of whom human nature creates a love and forces our actions to reconcile, and crtainly not any other man.  - 

For those not born into the tribe, do not fear.  The Rambam in the last halacha of Hilchos Shmitta (13:13) says everyone has a chance to become a Levi as follows.

-  Not only the Shevet of Levi, but any one of the inhabitants of the world whose spirit generously motivates him and he understands with his wisdom to set himself aside and stand before Hashem to serve Him and minister to Him and to know Hashem, proceeding justly as Hashem made him, removing from himself the yoke of the mundane calculations which people seek, he is sanctified as Kodesh Kodashim. Hashem will be his lot and heritage forever and ever, and will merit what is sufficient for him in this world like He provides for the Kohanim and the Levi'im... - 

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Benayahu Shmueli - Little Brains, Little Fight

Arguments by nature take on a life of their own and mushroom into big feuds in which the combatants can't even remember the trivial matter that started it. Worse yet the argument can carry on for generations while the original issue was long ago laid to rest.

The Shela HaKadosh says that the difference between words "Riv" and "Meriva" which both mean argument is that Riv is the initial small fight while Meriva is the sad aftermath when things grow ugly. Meriva is Lashon Nikeiva for Riv, as a female bears many offspring from the original seed planted by the man.

We see this by the fight between Avrohom and Lot where the Torah tells us there was a Riv, an argument between the shepherds of Lot and those of Avrohom. When word got back to Avrohom about hte Riv, he tells Lot (Lech Licha 13:8), "Al Na Tehi Meriva Beini UBeinecha", let's not let this small argument grow into a big feud between us.

Rav Benayahu Shmueli finds a Remez for this from the famous words of the gemara (Nedarim 41a) "Da Kani Mah Chaser Da Lo Kani Mah Kani". Literally it means if you have Daas what are you missing. If you don't have Daas, then what do you have? He explains thsi Chazal with the yesod of Shela. "Da Kani" if you have a little brains and are smart enough to be quiet when someone verbally attacks you, your Riv will remain small and soon pass. Why? Because "Ma Chaser" you are preventing the fireworks of the "Mem" and "Hey" by not answering back. However if "Da Lo Kani" you don't have the wisdom to keep quiet, and you open your mouth to fire back at your attacker, "Ma Kani" you have acquired for yourself a brand new fight complete with the "Mem" and "Hey" that will linger on and continue to grow, causing far more damage than it was worth.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach - A Miscarriage Of Tamim

An Avreich told Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Aleihu Lo Yibol OC 396) that his wife suffered here second straight miscarriage and he gave the fetus over to pathology to see why this keeps happening.

Rav Shlomo Zalman told him that he must request the fetus back from pathology and bury it and that something like this should have been asked to a Rav. The Avreich told Rav Shlomo Zalman that his wife has many theories why this was happening to her. Rav Shlomo Zalman said that for things like that need to go to a "Rebbe" but the rule is "Tamim Tihiyeh Im Hashem", we must go innocently with Hashem without asking questions.

Rav Shlomo Zalman added that when it comes to fulfilling Temimus in Sefiras HaOmer people are very careful, despite that this is only hinted in the pasuk. Yet when it comes to a straight forward commandment of "Tamim Tihiyeh" people are less careful.

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Eliyahu Lopian - Is The Road To Pleasure Paved In Pain?

There is a great misconception in the world, says Rav Eliyahu Lopian. People think that Olam HaZeh is about pain and suffering. It is not so! Since Olam Haba is the ultimate pleasure and this world is about preparing for Olam HaZeh we can only prepare for pleasure with pleasure.

Clearly this doesn't mean worldly pleasure because one cannot find that in Olam HaBa. However explains Rav Lopian, if a person exhausts all his effort trying to steer clear of aveiros and trying to do mitzvos surely he will experience the heavenly pleasure of a closeness to the Shechina down on this world just like he will in Olam Haba.

The Mishna says in Pirkei Avos (4:16) the world is like a hallway before the palace. The hallway to the palace is not a dump with peeling walls and covered in dirt. Just as the palace is graced with incomparable beauty so to the hallway is beautiful albeit on a smaller scale.

Our job in this world is to prepare ourselves for the next world by refining our taste buds and our lifestyles to acquire a taste of enjoyment from doing mitzvos so that we are not lost and confused when we are zocheh to be taken to our eternal reward.

Wed, 10 Nov 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Alter Of Kelm - The Torah Is Yekkish And The Hadas Is A Shoteh
The Alter of Kelm Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv (Broide) was zealous about punctuality and order.  This is one of the things that clearly marked a Talmid from Kelm.  Rav Chaim Zaitchek says (HaMeoros HaGedolim) that we see this over and over in the Torah.  A moment in time marks the difference between Shabbos and Chol, between Skila and life.  The width of a hair makes all the difference in rendering and animal kosher or treif.  One step separated between the Machaneh Levia and Machaneh Shechina, which had life threatening implications.  A Kohen could not do a Levi's job and a Levi could not do a Kohen's.  Order and exactness is a pattern that is seen throughout the Torah.

The Alter of Kelm once commented that a Hadas must have each row of three leaves coming out from the same exact place on the branch.  If two leaves come out from the same place but the third comes out just above the other two, it is not called a Hadas Pasul but rather a Hadas Shoteh.  Step out of line and you are not Pasul, you are an absolute fool!

Mon, 19 Jul 2010 03:00:00 +0000