Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: AVODAH Category:MIDDOS Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Wed, 01 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Rav Elya Lopian - Until Death Do Us Part Rav Elya Lopian (Lev Eliyahu Parshas Tzav) says that when Chazal warn us that even on our dying day the Yetzer Hara will not leave us alone they meant it, literally. He relates the following true story.

A respected man with many fine traits was lying on his deathbed. This fine person's only weakness was his desire for money. When it came to money he left his respectability behind.

When his friends came to part with him for the very last time, they saw him whispering something with his last drop of strength. They realized that he was trying to tell them something, so they bent over closely to listen. "I want to tell you something so that you can learn a lesson from me", he said to them. "I feel that I am close to my end and very soon I will leave this world. Despite my plight, if someone were to offer me money now, I would stretch my hand out and take it and put it under my pillow. This is the extent that my desire for money rules over me even now. Listen to me and learn!"

Only fifteen minutes later the man returned his Neshama to his Creator and left the material world, separated from money forever.

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Elyashiv - A Talmid Chochom Cannot Be a Baal Gaava It is told that someone once asked Rav Elyashiv how can there be Talmid Chochom who is a Baal Gaava? Rav Elyashiv answered him that in fact there is no such thing. "Either you don't know what a Talmid Chochom is or you don't know what a Baal Gaava is." At first glance one would think that Rav Elyashiv is setting a high bar for a Talmid Chochom by declaring that any Baal Gaava is not a Talmid Chochom. Although from hearsay we can't know what Rav Elyashiv meant we can explain this comment with something said by Rav Chaim Volozhin.

Rav Chaim Volozhin in Ruach Chaim says that a Talmid Chochom is vessel that holds Torah. To allow the vessel to hold more content one can shave the inside walls. The thinner the walls the more area for holding Torah. For a Talmid Chochom to acquire more Torah, he needs to minimize himself. He needs to be all Torah will as little of himself as possible. Rav Chaim Volozhin goes on to say that Moshe's towering superiority over everyone else is Torah was just a reflection of his ability to minimize himself more than anyone. If someone were to attain a level of humility on par with Moshe, his level of Torah would also match Moshe's.

The gemara in Sotah (5a) says that Hashem says that He cannot live together in the world with a Baal Gaava. Based on Rav Chaim Volozhin's words the explanation is that a Baal Gaava is a person who does not submit himself to Hashem. He considers himself no ones vessel and lives to serve himself. He therefore does not leave room for Torah or Hashem in his world.

Now we can understand Rav Elyashiv's quote. A Talmid Chochom cannot be a Baal Gaava. Gaava means to think of oneself as independent person meant to serve himself. We do what's good for us, and it may even include learning Torah, Davening and performing Mitzvos. A Talmid Chochom does not live for himself. He has made himself into a mere vessel to hold Hashem and His Torah. Sure his walls may be thicker or thinner, but in principle he has subjugated his being to Hashem. It is us who have chosen to live our lives serving ourselves, even if our life's mission is to do enough mitzvos to go to Gan Eden, who are the real Baalei Gaava.

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 03:00:00 +0000
As Long As I'm Around Don't Say Anivus is Dead! The gemara at the end of Sotah brings a Braisa that says that when Rebbi Yehuda HaNassi died, the Middah of Anava died with him. Rebbi Yehuda HaNassi was the last of the truly humble people. When Rav Yosef heard this he said that these words should be erased from the Braisa for he, Rav Yosef is still alive.

This gemara screams for an explanation. Rav Yosef's comment seems a far cry from humility, as with it he declares himself to be the greatest Anav in his, and previous generations. What did he really mean?

It is said that in Navardhok they explained as follows. After the Tanna declared true Anivus to be extinct, Rav Yosef cried, "Do not say that!". Why? Because Rav Yosef was working on his Middah of Anavah. He wanted to attain the stature of true Anivus. By saying Anivus was no longer attainable, they shot a hole through his plans. Therefore Rav Yosef begged that as long as he is alive and striving for perfection and hoping to reach it, do not write off anava.

A lesson that we can from this is that while Rebbi Yehuda HaNassi's middos may not be attainable, it is a standard that we can set for ourselves and spend our lives trying to achieve. As long as we are striving and believe it possible we will be quite okay!

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Binyomin Finkel - The Whole World Is Yours!

The mishna in Sanhedrin (37a) says, "Kol Echad V'Echad Chayav Lomar B'shvili Nivra HaOlam", each person is obligated to say, the world was created for me. Obligated?? I know too many people who say it all the time who would do the world a big favor by forgetting this mishna. What kind of obligation is it to think the world revolves around me?

The mashgiach in my Yeshiva once told a bachur who did something selfish, that he must remember that there are few billion other "Bishvili's" running around the planet that he should consider.

On a deeper level Rav Binyomin Finkel explains this Chazal with a twist (that we are too selfish to see right away). A person is put into this world to improve himself. The world is not a picnic. It is our work area and our character is what we are trying to mold to perfection. The whole world are the tools that Hashem gives us to bang, cut, and shape our character until it is truly a beautiful work of art.

What are these tools? The annoying people, the ones who cheat us, the people who insult us, the people who need our help, etc. Every blow we absorb from our friend's axe like tongue improves our shape and brings us closer to perfection. Every time we stay calm when someone cuts us off on the road we become that much more shiny. Every time we notice that someone is less fortunate than us and we take our time and effort to help them, we become that much more complete.

Yes, it is nutty world with lots of crazy people out there, many of them sharp and very dangerous. But this is not Hashem's world gone mad. On the contrary, all this was created for us. These are the useful tools Hashem put in this world for our use. It gives us an opportunity to use these tools as would a master craftsman to transform ourselves from a crying mass of selfish flesh and blood, into a brilliant glowing masterpiece. When you see something that you think has no place in this world, remember, B'shvili Nivra HaOlam!

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 03:00:00 +0000
Rav Gedaliah Eiseman - The Dining Room "Farher"

Two boys arrived one day in Kol Torah in Yerushalayim to see the yeshiva and decide if it was appropriate for them. While they were standing around, the Mashgiach Rav Gedaliah Eiseman called over an older boy into his office. "It looks to me that these boys came to check out the Yeshiva. It makes sense also for the Yeshiva to check them out... Please go sit next to them in the dining room and watch how they eat."

The boy tried to get out of this uncomfortable mission and suggested that the place to watch them would be in the Bais Medrash, where the Mashgiach sits and does not need any help from others. However the Mashgiach was not buying it. "What interests me is to see how they eat... There is nothing telling about a boy who sits in Bais Medrash and learns. That is what he is supposed to be doing. A real live field test in the dining room, where you can see how he applies his learning is much more revealing.

In the halachos of Kiddush it says "Ein Kiddush Elah B'Makom Seudah." In order for Kiddush to take effect, it must be in the place where a person will eat his meal. In a play on words they say, "Ein Kiddush" a person cannot be proven Holy, "Elah B'Makom Seudah", only by his manner while eating and not necessarily in the Bais HaMedrash. There, many ugly and noble middos are easily observed.

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 03:00:00 +0000