Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
917-446-2126 rablenblank@gmail.com
Thursday, April 28, 2022, Nisan 27,5782

The yartzeit of Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l . Nisan 27, 5761

The Torah Telephone Program -The First of it’s kind,

From basic Judaism to Advanced learning of Gemorah

A well-known Kiruv Rabbi in South Africa helped be mekariv many because of his tapes.

Rav Millers simchas hachaim was something that was so contagious.

Towards the end of his life a doctor came into his room and asked how he was feeling and he said “ I’m so busy being happy of all the kindness that H has done or me, that I don’t have the time to think how I am feeling.”

“Rav Matisyahu Solomon called Rav Avigdor Miller
the Avraham Avinu of Our Generation”

Rav Avigdor Miller was unique in his quotes on various topics.

He shared in many ways his love and immense appreciation of H.

Towards the end of his life a doctor came into his room and asked how he was feeling and he said “ I’m so busy being happy of all the kindness that H has done or me, that I don’t have the time to think how I am feeling.”

One day as a talmid in the Slabodka Yeshiva he asked his Rebbe Rav Avraham Grodzynski Mashgiach of the Slabodka Yeshiva and author of Toras Avraham” what can I do to make a major impact on the world ? His Rebbe replied “You need to become the best Avigdor Miller you can become.

We now present to you a video of Rav Avigdor Miller zkl renowned Gadol and spiritual guide to so many. His life and legacy continues to impact the lives of Jews across the spectrum and across the globe with his 1,900 recorded lectures,14 seforim many well known weekly booklets that are distributed all over. Enjoy this Growth Through Our Gedolim video by the author and producer Rabbi Yaakov Moskowitz that truly captures the lessons he embodied and the message that we can take for ourselves and our communities.


From Handbook of Jewish Thought by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l Moznaim Publishing Corporation -Love of G “There are two paths to loving G.(5) When a person considers all the good that G does and how He considers all the good that G does and how He constantly watches and sustains him, (6) he feels obliged to love G just as one would love any other benefactor. (7) Regarding such love, the Psalmist said, “I love G, for He has heard my voice and my plea; because He listened to me on the day I called” (Psalms 116:1). (8) Similarly, we are taught that we should love and praise G for every breath that He allows us to draw (9). However, this is not the highest level of love, since when one loves G only for the good that he receives, he may abandon his love when things go badly.(10)

The more a person understands G’s true greatness, the more he loves Him for what He is, and for no other reason, (11) In order to achieve this love, one should therefore strive to understand G’s greatness from His works.(12) Since such love depends upon nothing other than G Himself, it will prevail even if and when is beset with troubles. Regarding this it is written, “Many waters cannot quench the love [for G], nor can the flood drown it”.(Song of Songs].”

1. Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 2:1; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Positive Commandment 3; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Positive Commandment3; Zohar 3:263b
2. Chinukh 418. Cf. IbnEzra on Exodus 20:1.
3. Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Positive Commandment 3, Reshith Chakhmah, Shaar HaAhavahI (51a).
4.Reshith Chokhmah loc. Cit;Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, 11:1, 13:22,16:20, 19:9,30:6.
5. Zohar 1:12a; Chovoth HaLevavoth 10:2: Sh’nei Luchoth HaB’rith, BeAsarah Maamaroth 1:74b; Commentary on Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 2:1, Cf. Avoth 5:16.
6. Reshith Chokhmah, Shaar HaAhavah 9 (82c) Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Positive Commandment 3.
7. Sefer Chasidim 31
8.See Radak, Midrash Tehillim, a loc.; Yaikut Shimoni 2;874
9. .Devarim Rabbah 2;26, From Psalms 150;6, “Let everything that has a breath (soul and intelligence) praise G,
Hallelukah”cf. Radaka ad.loc.
10. Avoth 5:16. Cf. Tana DeBei Eliahu Rabbah 28 (109a); Zohar 1:12a; Sifri, Yalkut Shimoni (1:837), Rashi, onDeuteronomy 6:5, See Pele Yo’etz s.v. Ahavath LeHaKadosh Barukh Hu (1b top).
11. Emunah VeDeyoth 2:13; Moreh Nevukhim 3;51. Cf. Kuzari 4:5
12. Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 2:2; Hagahoth Maimonioth ad.loc,; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Positive Commandment 3; Kin’ath Sofrim ad loc.; Chinukh 418; Teshuvoth HaRambam (P’erHaDor) 347; Sefer Chasidim 14; Reshith Chokhmah, Shaar HaAvah 5 (63d). See below, note 20.

There is so much to be thankful for. So important to show the Ribono shel Olam our appreciation and our love for Him. Though Rabbi Kaplan died at a young age, his legacy through the many sefarim he wrote was remarkable. We often take things for granted. We assume too much that anything positive is due to our own abilities rather than acknowledging H made it possible.

In our Haggadah we recite Lefichach anachnu chayawvim lehodos…. Therefore it is our duty to thank…. From the Haggadah Night of Emunah Stories and insights on the Haggadah by Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky ArtScroll Series Mesorah Publications Ltd “Hold Open the Gate ! (pages 170 – 174) “Rav Shimshon Pinchus relates in She’arim B’Tefillah an incredible segulah to help a person whose tefillos aren’t being answered: When a person finds himself in a ifficcult situation and feels that the gates of blessing are closed to him, he should begin to thank H for all the good things he has in life. That in turn will bring blessings his way.

Furthermore, he says that when something good happens to you, this signifies that a gate has been opened before you, If you make sure to thank H at that moment for the good He has bestowed on you, then that gate will remain open to make way for more blessings. If, at the moment that you receive something good, you don’t stop to recognize where it came from. Then it is much easier that getting them to open in the first place. There’s nothing that draws blessings and salvation from shamayim as powerfully as a happy heart.

Take Nothing for Granted” Rav Yisrael Brog describes some of the incredible impressions of hakaras hatov he learned from his grandfather, Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l. For a time, I used to walk my grandfather to shul every morning at 5:30 AM. Each morning before he left the house, he would thank H in detail for all the wonderful things He did for him. My grandfather would talk to H like a son talking to his father. He’d start out by saying, “Thank You, H, for my heart.” Then he would describe the intricacies of the heart and the efficient way in which it pumps the blood. Then he would thank H for his eyes and his lungs, describing each gift in great detail. Every day, after describing everything for which he was thankful, he would turn to me in his state of ecstasy and ask, “Do you feel the excitement I feel? Just think about how H takes care of you. Trust in Him, and you’ll feel this happiness too.”

Of all the H’s creations, apples held a very special place in my grandfather s heart. For ten years, he collected apple seeds and stored them in brown paper bags. One day, he told me, “ I’m now finished with my avodah of apple seeds and you can have them.” He handed me two full bag of apples seeds. “You know what I’m giving you?” he asked. I’m giving you farmland- acres and acres of chesed.”

I always wondered why he was so busy with the apples. Then one time I was in his house, and I saw my grandfather sit down at the table, pick up an apple, and conduct an incredible conversation with H. I hid out of sight so that I could listen and learn. “Father!” he called out, “Look at the beautiful color of this red apple. You created such a pleasing fruit !” Then he inhaled its aroma. deeply. “And You gave it a wonderful smell too!” he exclaimed. Then, H You made it so crunchy and delicious. You created taste buds so that I could enjoy it. You did this all for me, for my pleasure!” Then he made such a loud beracha on the apple and began to eat it.

I was once walking with my grandfather when a hard rain began to fall. I began to rush, but my grandfather didn’t quicken his pace at all.” What’s your rush?! he asked me. “Do you know what’s coming down now? Apples and pears. And look ! H is cleaning the streets of New York!”

My grandfather taught that if you trust in H and thank Him for everything He does for you, you will become a happy person. Your life will be different. You will feel that H is always there, close by, taking care of you.”

May we be zoche to truly appreciate HaKadosh Baruch Hu and to appreciate all that He does for us. May our lives be filled with simchas hachaim and enjoy every moment of His kindness. As rabbis, rebbitzens and chaplains we know how difficult life can be, the challenges that might come our way and to be honest when something hurts we can say ouch, but it could have been worse. What could be worse than someone who is close leaves this world of ours, or the loss a job how difficult can it be ? I, like thousands of others reminisce what Pesach was like only two years ago and for many even last year due to the pandemic. Yet, there is always a place in ones heart to find happiness if not one way than in another way. For me personally, rather than looking forward to Pesach being another year as a widower, I looked forward to how I will enjoy Yom Tov and find meaning in life. Of course the first year was the “missing chair “syndrome. I did not want to experience the negative. My wife A”H is in Hawolom Habah, in Gan Eiden and my responsibility is to make life as meaningful as possible. To appreciate and be grateful for all that H does for me and for others as well. There comes a time when we must make every effort to find that simchas hachaim. Rabbis , rebbetzins and chaplains can truly make the difference in the way we approach life and the lives of those who are in need of our support. That remarkable quote “Towards the end of his life a doctor came into his room and asked how he was feeling and he (Rav Miller) said “ I’m so busy being happy of all the kindness that H has done or me, that I don’t have the time to think how I am feeling.” However, because we are only human, and not everyone is able to make or take the next step, rabbi’s rebbetzins and chaplains need all the resources and wisdom of helping all those in need. Be

May we be zoche maysim tovim, besuos tovos, simcha hachaim, achdus amongst and between each other. To be ambassadors of the Ribono shel Olam and Klal Yisrael. To be Mekadeish H. May all those who need a refuah sheleima be gezundt. May all those who are seeking a shidduch be zoche the right one at the right time. Let there be Shalom Al Yisrael. May we be zoche Moshiach Tzedkeinu Bimheira Veyawmeiny. Amain

Thank you. Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank

Touro University is having an academic conference Sunday, May 1, 2022 11:30 AM – 4PM
Perspectives On Individual Autonomy & Community Responsibility and Halacha
Legalization of Marijuana
The Community and the Individual
For Men and Women
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