Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
=-=-=-= Thursday August 18th,2022, 21 Av, 5782=-=-=-=
What did Rav Dovid Feinstein ztk”l say about his father Rav Moshe ztk”l ?
What did Rav Dovid Feinstein ztk”l say about his mother Reb Shima A”H ?
What else could we learn from the story Rav Paysach Krohn gave about his
story of the family from Har Nof shared in last week’s RAA article?
My Kiddush H Amtrak train ride with Kavod Habriyos.
Kavod Elokim- Kavod Tzelem Elokim
The importance of truly being sincere.
Sincerity is a mix of seriousness and honesty. If you do things with sincerity, people will trust you. Along with patience and compassion, sincerity is one of those qualities we all probably wish we had more of — and wish other people had more of, too. People who show sincerity are being serious, kind, and truthful.
sincerity – Dictionary Definition : Vocabulary.com
Feeling from our hearts.
The love, faith and trust H Yisbarach has in Klal Yisrael and the
Emunah -Faith -Trust Klal Yisrael has in H/G
Rav Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin said “It is important for mother’s to teach their children the Aleph Beis. The Aleph stands for the Aleph in Emunah. The letter Beis stands for the letter Beis in the word Betachon and then we will have the Gemel for Geulah.”
We must learn to be sincere from Hakadosh Boruch Hu whose patience, love and blessings for the Benei Yisrael despite some of their shortcomings that transpired even after having witnessed all that H had done for them beginning with Yitzias Mitzraim.
From The Chasidic Masters History, Biography and Thought by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Mozanaim Publishing Corporation. “Faith implies trust. This means that one does not consider his own benefit, but only that of his client. With regard to G it is written, “All His deeds are in faith” (Psalms 33:4). This means that G’s deeds are for the benefit of Israel, [who are His client.”] It is taught, “G is stricter with regard to the honor of a righteous man than with regard to His own honor.”
(ibid) “Some people wear their faith like an overcoat. It only warms them, but does not benefit others at all. But some light a fire and also warm others.”
From A Handbook of Jewish Thought by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan Moznaim Publishing Company. Inspiration “One of the foundations of our faith is the belief that G grants such inspiration and thus reveals His will to mankind.”
(ibid) 6:15 Israel’s unique history and relationship to G predicate a unique responsibility, and only G Himself can teach us how to fulfill it. Experience has shown that only by observing G”s revealed will has Israel survived.”
(ibid) 1:31 Faith and trust in G are partners, since one who believes in an omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent G must also believe that He will provide for His faithful. Therefore, one should trust in G and not be overly concerned about the future. It is thus written, ”Commit your way to G. Trust in Him and He will do [for you]” (Psalms 37:5), and “Blessed is the man who trusts in G; G will be his trust” (Jerimiah 17:7).
(ibid) 1:33 Trusting in G does not mean that one should neglect to make any future plans, nor does it mean that one should sit back and depend upon G to miraculously feed him or neglect one’s health and expect G to keep him sound. Regarding these it is written,” A man’s foolishness perverts his way; in his heart he ends up blaming [his misfortunes on] G” (Proverbs 19:3).
(ibid)1:34 One should certainly not place himself in danger and then rely upon a miracle to save him.”
(ibid) 1:35 Even in situations where miracles were likely to occur, our sages would not depend upon them, and even refused to benefit from them.”
In Parshas Eikev we continuously see the love, the faith and the trust H has in Klal Yisrael. Of course, we learn that all the kindness He has done and continues to do, Klal Yisrael must fulfill the promises of continuing to learn and observe the Torah and all the mitzvos. H mentions all the blessings He gives Klal Yisrael. From the Artscroll Chumash Series Mesorah Publishing Ltd, “Moses continued encouraging the nation to trust in G to insure their successful conquest of the Land and abundant blessing in every aspect of their lives, and he stressed again that all vestiges of idolatry had to be eliminated from the Land.” “Thus, the Torah assures Israel that if they are careful to observe even the neglected commandments, they can be certain that G will reward them with His covenant and kindness.”( Rashi).
Some personal experiences of Kiddush H, Kavod Habriyos, being kind to others Jewish and non Jewish. On Sunday August 14th, 2022, I was returning from Baltimore, MA from a wedding and Shabbos Sheva Brachos on a regular Amtrak coach train car which did not have reserved seating. Towards the front of the car I entered on the left side there were two tall men. One with a kippa and next to him an African American. The one with the kippa as soon as he saw me struggling to lift my suitcase and put it in the rack which was above my head, he got up to give me a hand. He then said he was giving his seat to me and will easily find another seat. The man that was sitting next to him mentioned to me how kind that person was to help me and then give his seat to me. After greeting my neighbor, I offered him some of the cake I had and a bottle of water. He said that was so nice and very kind of me. He asked if I was a rabbi. Something that has often happened to me. He asked to call me by my first name and told me to call him Tony. He asked me some questions about scripture and some of my personal thoughts on a subject he brought up. He was pleased with my responses. He then showed me pictures on his phone of artwork done by incarcerated women through years 1920’s –1960’s. He showed and explained how and what those women did making colorful pocketbooks and other artwork just using cigarette packages, pages from women magazines through the years and has kept them for presentations. He shared the meaning of love for a fellow human being no matter what he/she has done to be in prison. He was so impressed of my feelings for other human beings and felt a special relationship with me even if but for a short trip together. He was continuing on to Boston. Many passengers who got on the train at different stations had to go looking for a seat as the vacant ones were scattered throughout the various train cars. Two women came in front of where we were sitting and we offered them our seats. One had a young grandchild with her. One of the women found a seat. The other one shared that she had in past years had a stroke and some other medical concerns. My neighbor insisted on offering her his seat. She sat next to me and gave me and her grandchild such big smiles. I offered them cake and a bottle of water. Though she declined, told me how caring I was and she felt so good sitting next to me. Her grandchild sat on a suitcase. She said I was a kind person and it meant a lot to her sitting next to me. I got that response from another woman who I also offered cake and water to and my seat, but she found another seat nearby. The most important thing is to be sincere, to show care for a fellow human being. Those who know me, this was not an unusual experience. In many of my previous articles shared friendships, greetings, and developing friendships with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and even languages. The language of a smile, or a kind and sincere greeting can go along way. Most of all the opportunities of being Mekadeish H is remarkable.
We must not forget we are all created in the image of H. It doesn’t take much to give a smile, to say hello, or any other appropriate greeting. Midos tovos is so important with a sincere disposition.
What did Rav Dovid Feinstein ztk”l say about his father Rav Moshe ztk”l ?
In the Haggadah on Rav Moshe, Reb Dovid wrote in the prologue, not everyone can be like my father in learning but everyone can be like my father in middos. He was asked many times about his mother Reb Shima and his response was what a special Eizer Kenegdo, an Eishis Chayil she was and how supportive she was to his father, her husband the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Moshe.
There were additional themes in the story from Rabbi Paysach Krohn about the family from Har Nof in my last weeks article. When the younger son went to his mother to tell her “you won’t believe this, Abba wants everyone to come inside the restaurant to eat.” The wife did not say anything negative or disrespectful about what her husband said they should all do. She did not question nor ask why. The children also did not ask disparaging questions. Especially after telling the children before the trip began how they could not eat in any restaurant as it would be too expensive. That is why she made them home made meals. They were on a budget and now they were going to order food that was expensive .Neither the wife or the children questioned their father. What tremendous respect they gave their father and their mother. The wife did not lose her cool. There is much to learn from her and the children. What magnificent midos tovos both the wife and the children had. Please read the entire story in last weeks article .
H loves us and we should love Him- with all of our hearts
and never to forget our Torah values.
“He will love you, bless you and multiply you etc.” Parshas Eikev (7:13)
“Love of H is one of the two pillars of Divine Service.”
Mesillas Yesharim 19
“Know H your G and serve Him with all your heart.”
Devrei Hayomim 1-28:9
Be sincere. H knows what is in our hearts and minds.
We must believe with true sincerity.
Our actions should be sincere. Caring for others should be sincere.
From The Gentle Weapon Prayers for Everyday
and Not-So-Everyday Moments
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov Jewish Lights Publishing
“Loving, caring G, all the happiness and fulfillment
in my life come only from You.
Knowing how absolute is my dependence on You,
I find peace of mind. Your presence suffuses my life,
caressing me with hope, joy and love.
I’ve tasted Your love,
I’ve known Your compassion,
I’ve experienced Your patience, and I am filled with gratefulness.”
Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank