Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
//// Thursday August 11th,2022, 14 Av, 5782 \\\\
I AM DEDICATING THIS ARTICLE FOR THE REFUAH SHELEIMA OF A
TRUE TZADIK AND ADAM GODAL MOSHE BEN CHANAH ESTHER, RAV MOSHE
MACHLIS. BOTH HE AND HIS REBBETZIN ARE AN INSPIRATION TO THE
ENTIRE LOWER EAST SIDE COMMUNITY AND KLAL YISRAEL.
REPECT FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING
JEWISH AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT JEWISH
KAVOD ELOKIM – KAVOD TZELEM ELOKIM
VEAHAVTA LI REIECHA KAMOCHA
WE ARE AMBASSADORS OF THE RIBONO SHEL OLAM
AND KLAL YISRAEL
“ All people are precious because they are all made in the image of G
When one showers others with Kindness and Respect,
one honors G Himself”
(The Alter of Slabodka)
From the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation
LOOK AT EVERYTHING POSITIVELY
UNDO SINAS CHINAM WITH AHAVAS CHINUM.
BE SINCERE – HAVE A HEART OF GOLD- HAVE TRUE FEELINGS.
FINDING OPPORTUNITES TO BE MEKADEISH H.
BEING NICE TO EVERYONE – SAYING HELLO
From the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rav Elya Brundy, Rav Paysach Krohn, Rav Yissocher Frand in the Worldwide Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Tisha B Av Event the basic theme was being respectful of all human beings, caring about others, remembering the essence of Kavod Elokim, Tzelem Elokim and Kavod Habriyos.
Yes, we have to learn Torah, we have to know how to relate with others, but we must know how to treat one another. I spoke at a meeting and shared the importance of being respectful of one another, to be able to listen to the opinion of others even if one does not agree, but as the saying goes “it is a free world” “we live in a democracy and have the right to disagree.” However as you will read on how important it is not to speak even in private about others in a disrespectful manner that could very well be considered loshon hara and could Heaven Forbid lead to sinas chinam. Don’t be the judge and jury of someone based on personal feelings and thoughts. It is not what you say, but how you say it. There is something called Kavod Haadom, There is the importance of Kavod Habriyos. Bein Adam Lechaveiro. Appreciate and value a chaver, a friend, a chavrusah. Veahavta lereiecha kamocha. A person is beloved by H Who created every human being in His image. Ketzalmo Kidmuso. Rav Brundy shared in many meaningful ways the importance of respecting others, but also the importance of not forgetting our Torah values as well.
The presenters of the Chafetz Chaim Tisha B Av event spoke about both the importance of how to treat another human being of any background and the importance of caring for a fellow Yid.
One of Rabbi Frand’s stories about a meshulach , a tzedakah (charity) collector was telling Rav Nota Zvi Greenblatt zt”l about the best check he ever got. Rav Greeblatt asked him about that check. He said he got it from someone on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. What was the address? Rav Greenblatt said that is my Rebbe the Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Moshe Feinstein. Rav Greenblatt asked how much was the check for? It was for eighteen dollars. What made it such a special check? He held my hand with both of his hands and took the time to listen and speak to me. Rabbi Frand mentioned how important it is giving a dollar, or much more, to do so with a smile and not begrudgingly.
Caring about another persons feelings. Not to hurt someone’s feelings. The following was one of Rabbi Paysach Krohn fantastic stories I have to share with you. But first I have to share with you some of his I would call vital comments that could help Klal Yisrael “This year the Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has chosen to speak about a topic that is important and is pertinent to us every living hour, every moment that we deal with our fellow man. And that is the topic of Kavod Habriyos, maintain the dignity of every single human being. The Torah tells us in Parahas Noach perek tes, pasuk vav “Hashem made every person in His image. That means every single human being on the face of the Earth, is part and parcel of Hakadosh Baruch Hu. So when we deal with another person, we’re not just dealing with human flesh, we’re dealing with somebody that has a chelek of Hakadosh Boruch Hu Himself. As a matter of fact, every morning when we daven, in shacharis in Baruch Sheamar we say that Hakadosh Boruch Hu, Boruch meracheim al haberios. H has compassion, He has mercy on all his creations, on all of humanity.”
This is what Rabbi Krohn considered to be one of the greatest stories he ever heard.” This story took place a number of years ago in Eretz Yisrael, and it happened with a family that lives in Har Nof, not a well-to-do family. They have a large family ka”h, and every year, they rent a minivan, and they take their seven kids on vacation. Now, this family is very organized. They have a whole itinerary, and they lay out the plans for the children. Where they’re going to go, which places they’re going to stop, and what they’re going to do. That year they were going from Har Nof up to Teveria. They were going to do Jeeping up in Teveria at one of the mountains, and a boat ride on the Kineret. They told the children as did every year, Don’t ask to go to places that are not on this list. We have a budget, these are the only places that we’ll visit. No restaurants, no eateries, because everything is very expensive in these places. Mommy’s making all the lunches and all the snack everything will be covered.” And they gave each child a certain amount of money for allowance, for a budget.
The day comes, they all get into the minivan and they start traveling North. The first day as they’re traveling North, they came to Netanya. And of course they stopped for lunch, the beautiful area right on the ocean, right by the sea. And they take a picnic bench and they’re having lunch. They finish lunch and everybody’s about to get into the car, except eight-year-old Zevi. And Zevi says to his father, “ Abba I have to use the facilities. “ Now, where’s he going to go? Where’s he going to find a bathroom for this kid ? And then he looks down the block he sees there is a Jewish restaurant. Now, he knows very well that the restaurant don’t like when you just come in to use the facilities if you’re not buying anything. But what should you do? They had a long trip up North. So he sends all the kids and his wife into the car, and he goes with Zev, they go into that restaurant. There’s a waitress waiting at the door. And he say’s to the waitress “Ma’am, I’m so sorry, we didn’t come to buy anything, but my little boy has to use the facilities. Would you mind, he’ll be quick, and we’ll go right out.” She looks around the whole restaurant, she says, “Okay.
The little boy runs, does what he has to do, and now he’s walking through the restaurant with his father, and they’re just about the restaurant. And suddenly the headwaiter, Rafi, sees them and he explodes. “What are you doing here? Who gave you permission to come in here? All you religious Jews, you’re all the same. You take advantage? You didn’t buy anything and you’re using our facilities? What is this, a public place ? It’s not a public place.” And this father’ thinking, “Oh my goodness, what am I going to say to this guy?” And he’s watching, the waitress is standing on the side, and she’s shaking. Because if he says that the waitress gave him permission, she’s going to lose her job. No, he’d learnt in Slabodka, this father. His Rosh Yeshiva was Rav Avraham Genachofsky. Seforim have been written about him, his brilliance and his middos. And on the spot, he’s thinking, “What would my Rebbe do here?” And in 3 seconds, he says, Excuse me, waiter, you got it all wrong. We’re all coming in here to eat.” The waiter said, “What?” He says, “yeah, I’m going to send my son and he’s going to bring in everybody, my wife and my kids.” He said,” Oh I’m so sorry, I thought you were just using the facilities.” “No, no, no, we’re all going to sit down, jus set the tables. He said, ”How many people are you?” “Nine.” “Nine people? You’re going to need two tables.” He says,” That’s okay just set it up.” Well, this guy can’t believe it. And the kid runs out and he says, “Ima, you’re not going to believe this ! Abba said we should all come in. We’re going to eat in the restaurant.” The kids can’t believe it . They all come inside, and they all sit around the table. They never in their life saw a menu like that. They never saw food like this. They never saw prices like this. And the mother says, “Everybody could have one dish and one drink.” And they eat the whole meal. Near the end of the meal, they noticed there’s a lot of action by the kitchen. And out of the kitchen come six waiters, each one holding a plate of ice cream and a cake, and on the cake there are sparklers. And they all walk towards the two tables where the family is sitting. And the father says, “wait a second, wait a second. We didn’t order dessert. The owner of the restaurant comes out and says, ”Let me tell you something, you don’t know what happened a little while ago. You see, when you guys sat down at the table, that waitress came into the kitchen and she started crying, and I said to her, “Why are you crying?” She said, “ I just saw somebody do something for me that nobody in my life ever did for me before. I know that family, they weren’t going to eat anything, they weren’t coming her to buy anything, but he knew very well that I would get in trouble if he said that I let him in. And that’s why he brought his whole family. All the money that they’re spending is just to save my skin. I was already worried that Rafi was going to fire me and where was I going to find a job?”
“So for special people, we do special things.” So all the kids are so happy they got ice cream and cake. And then at the end, listen to this: the father says, ”Can I have my bill?” They give him a bill and on the bill it says: If you ever come in here again, it’s only half price. The father says, ‘ Thank you. But what about now?” The owner of the restaurant says to him, “We have a policy in this restaurant, we only charge people. We don’t charge Malachim. We don’t charge angels.
Why did this tzaddik of a father ,why did he do that? Kavod habriyos. Because he knew that she could get fired. He knew she would get embarrassed. And so he was willing to spend a fortune and do something that they never did on vacations because he valued her personality. That’s Kavod Habriyos.”
“ When we can have Kavod Habriyos, we can achieve ahavas chinam and undo the sinas chinam that destroyed the Beis Hamikdash. My dear brothers and sisters, wherever you are in the world, we need each other, people are going through difficult times. Now’s the time for Ka Nasi and lavod Habriyos. Now is the time to validate everyone, to realize that every single one of us, every creation of Hakadosh Baruch Hu is a Tzelem Elokim. Every person deserves to be validated and to be recognized. If we could only do that, I believe that H will see that we care about His children, not only because they are human beings, but because they are part of Him. How great would that be for our Father in Heaven, Avinu Sheba Shamayim?
“Rabbi Krohn shared from Michtav M’ Eliyahu what Reb Eliyahu Dessler said about Gemara Brachos (17:1) regarding Reb Yochanan ben Zakkai a Nasi a leader of Klal Yisrael during the time of the churban. He knew Mikrah, Mishnah, Aggadah, the language of Malachei Hasharais, the angels in Heaven. Every problem in Klal Yisrael came to Reb Yochanan ben Zakkai. You can imagine how busy he was, right? Yet, he made sure to say hello to a Jew and non-Jew. No one ever said hello to him before he did in the street.” “This is what Kavod Habriyos is all about.”
The Aibershta should help, we should take these lessons of all the speakers, of Kavod Habriyos seriously, so that next year we should be able to meet in Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh with Mashiach.”
Can you imagine how much kindness and goodness can bring to this world of ours. Having a heart of gold, being sincere, finding opportunities to do gemilus chasadim, to be Mekadeish H can truly make a tremendous difference. Something as simple as holding the door, saying hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, giving a smile, giving up a seat on a bus or train for an elderly person, or someone holding packages. Saying thank you and you’re welcome. Being courteous, showing and giving appreciation goes a long way. Just being nice to others is truly meaningful.
( I only shared some of the parts of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Worldwide Tisha B Av event comments and stories. Whoever would like to see the entire videos and hear all the stories from all of the presenters mentioned at the beginning of this article including Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, Rabbi Yisrael Majeski and Charlie Harary contact the CCHF at 845-352-3505 or go on line for additional information about the CCHF).
May all of our tefilos be answer Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank