Ve'zot Haberacha/Simchat Torah
L'ilui Nishmat Abraham Ben Simcha by the Lianiado Family
Ve'zot Haberacha/Simchat Torah
At the end of last weeks perasha Haazinu (32;46-47) Moshe is speaking to B'enei Yisrael..."Apply your hearts to all the words that I testify against you today, which you are to instruct your children, which you are to be careful to perform all the words of this Torah, for it is not an empty thing for you, for it is your life and through this matter shall you prolong your days..." Ramban says on this that this encompasses all of Jewish history because as Jews our purpose in this world is to have children and to instruct them and teach them the ways of the Torah because education of our young children has always been the key to our survival as a Jewish nation.
Rashi says, that the Torah is our life and if someone finds it to be unsatisfying, then the failure stems from that person, because the Torah is not lacking. Rashi is saying that if the Torah doesn't intrigue and challenge someone then it must be that they didn't apply themselves properly to really learn. We pray every morning as part of our everyday prayers..."Vehaarev na Hashem elokenu et divre toratecha bephenu" which means... "sweeten for us Hashem our G-D the words of your Torah in our mouth...". This prayer should encourage us to learn more so we may achieve that sweetness from learning Torah.
Our attitude plays a critical role in the success of acquiring Torah. If someone wants to learn Torah, he must first have a desire to achieve success in Torah and must be willing to work hard to achieve his goal. The study of Torah will ultimately be the most rewarding thing in your life.
In 1945 when the Holocaust finally ended, a thirteen year old boy who managed to survive the war alone, landed safely on the shores of America. Because of the war, this boy missed out on his early schooling years as a child. This boy had a very strong desire to go to yeshiva and study Torah but he didn't even have an aleph bet education. He was fortunate to befriend a family that took him in. He tried to enroll in one Yeshivah after another but none of them would allow a thirteen year old boy to sit in the first grade class to learn the basics. After many attempts, he decided that he would try one last school and again the principal turned him down. After that final rejection, he turned to the principal and made this somber request...He asked the Principal with tears in his eyes..."Can you please write me a note stating that I came to you and asked to be accepted in your Yeshivah, so that I could learn Torah and you told me that you couldn't accommodate a thirteen year old boy to sit in a first grade class. Please see to it that when I die, the Chevrah Kadisha buries me with that note in my hand, so that I can come before Hashem and tell Him that at least I tried to the best of my ability to learn Torah but wasn't able to because of my dilemma". When the principal heard this heartbreaking plea from the boy, he jumped from his chair, embraced the boy and together they both cried. The very next day, this boy was learning Torah with boys who were nine years younger than him. He was finally doing what he has been striving to do...to Learn Torah! Today this boy is a Talmid Chacham, who for almost 50 years has been teaching Torah to eager young men in Yerushalaim, who like himself, have a strong desire to achieve Torah knowledge!
Rabbi Twersky makes an interesting observation in this weeks parasha (33;4), that reads..."The Torah that Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob". Rabbi Twersky is saying that "Torah is like an inheritance and its the parents responsibility to see that their child's inheritance does not fall into despair as a result of neglect. The failure to preserve a child's Torah inheritance for him is a serious dereliction"...This dereliction will not only affect that child but all the generations that will ultimately come from that child! When we deprive a child today of his Torah education for any reason, weather it be for financial or behavioral reasons, we have to be very sensitive to what we are doing. By making a decision for this one child, we must realize that we're setting off a ripple effect that will have a negative impact on all the future generations that will ultimately come from that child.
In the late 18th century Leon Trotsky joined Karl Marx to start the communist Revolution. When Trotsky known then by the name of Leibal Davidovich Bronstein was a young boy, he was somewhat mischievous and when his father died and he became a yitom (orphan), it became extremely difficult for his struggling mother to control him. The Rebbe at Trotsky's Yeshvah didn’t have patience for the young orphan and could not control him and ultimately made the decision to expel young Trotsky from the school. The Rebbe's decision came back to haunt him because many years later as history showed Trotsky and Karl Marx were responsible for millions of lives that suffered under the harsh yoke and oppression of communism.
On the contrary, educators today must encourage young boys to grow and learn Torah even though they may be mischievous and searching for attention. There are many Rabbi’s and laymen like myself that were a little mischievous when we were young but found our way through our special Rabbi’s like Rabbi Shimon Cohen A’h. We also have so many young Rabbis of today that give our children the proper positive attention to guide them on a true Torah path that will not only last their lifetime but would also perpetuate the Torah to their children and grandchildren’s lives.
How appropriate that this Perasha also ends the cycle of reading the Torah which brings us to the end of Succot and the very joyful holiday of Simchat Torah....where men, women and children celebrate the love of our Torah by dancing and singing with Hashems gift to the Jewish people through our Rabbi Moshe Rabenu at Har Sanai. This gift doesn't come for free and with no strings attached because each one of us has an obligation to take advantage of the Torah by learning it every day. We must keep the words of our Torah close to our hearts, so that we may live by them every day and so we may benefit from its instructions for our lives and through our children and grandchildren's lives.
May we all merit to always be able to learn Torah and may we be worthy to have our children and grandchildren follow in the ways of the Torah until we see the arrival of Mashiach in our days! Amen!
Shabbat Shalom and Tizku Leshanim Rabot!
Jack E. Rahmey with the Guidance and Teachings of
Rabbi Amram Sananes
Eliyahu Ben Rachel Malka Bat Garaz
Sarah Bat Chanah Rabbi Shimon Chay Ben Yaasher
Shulamit Bat Helaina Meir Ben Latifa
Batsheva Bat Sarah Esther Esther Bat Sarah
Rav Haim Ben Rivka Rabbi Meyer Ben Chana
Yitzchak Ben Adele Rafael Ben Miriam
Chanah Bat Esther Moshe Ben Mazal
Moshe Ben Garaz Avraham Ben Mazal
Avraham Ben Garaz Ovadia Ben Yosef
Yaakov Ben Rachel
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