Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Vice President of Professional Development and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
*** Thursday February 2 ,2033 Shevat 11, 5783 ***
“MOMENTS OF INSPIRATION”
The Mesorah Continues.
Chaplains and Rosh Hashanah-concerns before Purim.
brought to you by an amazing
Orthodox Jewish Healthcare Hospital Chaplain .
The mesorah of our Torah, from the sweet young ages and on through the
elder years will be sanctified for generations to come.
The continuity of midos tovos with sincerity-
bringing us and keeping us together.
In times of uncertainty with Emunah and Betachon H will help us.
The importance of being mekadeish H
with sincerity, kindness, care for others and a cheerful disposition.
The importance of achdus and Shalom al Yisroel.
Recently a well known and magnificent Orthodox Jewish Healthcare chaplain in a major NYC hospital following protocol, rules and regulations, wanted to ensure that the spiritual needs of the Jewish patients will be adhered to for the Yomin Noraim and Sukkos. Yes, even though it is only the month of February, the Hebrew month of Shevat, she wanted to ensure the safety and well being of the Jewish patients as well as being able to fulfill the wonderful mitzvos associated with these and other Chagim. In a hospital setting, there is much advance planning as it can involve various staff, throughout a hospital setting, each unit with their own medical requirements. Though this chaplain has years of experience and knowledge, nevertheless, she sought the opinions and advice of other Jewish Chaplains and I was in awe of their responses. Preparations for any Chag is not accomplished with the snap of a finger. There are many complex issues, concerns and often unique needs of different patients. Way in advance, the chaplains collaborate and plan with many departments and often administration taking into consideration the many diagnoses and medical conditions of each patient. I am truly inspired by this very caring, sincere and professional chaplain and all the chaplains who responded to her requests. The mesorah of our Torah, and all the taryag mitzvos continue.
Two weeks ago, I attended the remarkable Haschalas Gemara at Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn. It was attended by the talmidim, fathers, grandfathers, Rabbeim, Menahel and Roshei Yeshiva. The midos of the talmidim were truly wonderful and the atmosphere with the interaction of everyone, especially the devrei Torah and brachos by the two Roshei Yeshiva was so beautiful. The learning, the music, the dancing, the set up was truly spectacular and I was very proud to be there with my grandson. Last week, I attended the fabulous Yeshiva Torah Vodaath “Shteig” that was attended by hundreds of talmidim, their Rabbeim, Roshei Yeshiva, Menahalim, fathers, grandfathers and others. What an amazing sight to be seen. The music, dancing, devrei Torah, brachos from the Roshei Yeshiva were absolutely breathtaking- as was the incredible seuda -all at the Palace catering hall. I was proud to be there with my grandsons. What was so beautiful was to see the wonderful midos tovos and the respect everyone had at both events. It reminded me of the story Rabbi Paysach Krohn told in The Grandeur of the Maggid about the police officer who pulled over a Jewish driver he stopped on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey asking him if he studied the page meaning the daf. He also told the driver the amazing story how a fellow police officer was in awe how thousands of the Jewish people sang and danced over having learned the page and not one person was drunk. What tremendous midos they all had and what a Kiddush H they made (at the Siyum Hashas).(This story was featured in a previous Moments of Inspiration). The talmidim of those two events with everyone who attended had wonderful midos tovos and the mesorah continues from the yeshivos started with the grandfathers, the fathers and the grandchildren . Rabbi Yitzchok Gottdiener Executive Director of Torah Vodaath, mentioned that the “Shteig” was like Simchas Torah with Simchas Hachaim. As mentioned in Parshas Haazinu” Zechor yemos Olam. Beenu shnos dor vador. Sheal Avicha veyagedcha. Zikainecha veyomru lach.” Remember the days of yore, understand the years of generation after generation. Ask your father and he will relate it to you, your elders and they will tell you.” (32:7). At both events I felt the tremendous ruach of Ahavas H, Ahavas Torah, Simchas Torah and the mesorah l’dor v’dor.
From Shabbos with Rav Pam by Rabbi Sholom Smith Artscroll Series Mesorah Publications Ltd Parshas Beshalach Page 107 “H deals with people in the manner in which they deal with their fellow human beings. If we strive to act in a considerate, gracious manner and with a warm, cheerful countenance to those less fortunate than us, this will open with each one of us in a similar manner, and redeem His people from the overwhelming tzaros in which they find themselves.”
From A Vort from Rav Pam by Rabbi Sholom Smith Artscroll Series Mesorah Publications Ltd Pages 97-98. “It Can Be Done” “This is my G and I will beautify Him; the G of my father and I will exalt Him (15:2).” The Targum Onkelos translates the above pasuk as, “ I will build a Sanctuary for Him,” a reference to the time when Klal Yisrael will construct a Beis Hamikdash as the ultimate expression of beautifying and exalting H.
A broader meaning can be inferred from this pasuk since it was said by each and every Jew at Krias Yam Suf ( Splitting of the Sea): Every person has the ability to build a sanctuary for the Shechinah in his own home and heart. This is what Chazal comment on the pasuk in Parshas Terumah (25:8), They shall make a Sanctuary for Me- so that I many dwell among them, It does not say ‘so that I may dwell in it’ ( the Mishkan) but ‘among them’- to symbolize that the Shechina dwells inside the homes and hearts of every Jew.
How does a person have the audacity to invite the Shechinah, as it were, to his humble abode? The answer is, as Rashi comments on the words, The G of my father, that “I am not the beginning of holiness. Rather, holiness and G liness are firmly established upon me from the days of my forefathers.” A Jews must never forget that the Torah and mitzvos are a heritage from his ancestors, and his task in life is to aspire to reach the madreigos ( spiritual levels) of his forebears.
When a person realizes that embedded in his genes is a spiritual legacy stretching back thousands of years, it will give him the impetus to strive for great heights in the service of H. Nothing will be too hard for him, nothing will be in the category of impossible. And, as the Gemara ( Yoma 39a), “ When a person sanctifies himself a little, (Heaven) sanctifies him a lot.” This will assist him in attaining great achievements that would seem to be well above the level of his natural abilities, and will make his home a worthy dwelling place for the Shechinah.”
From Lilmud Ulilameid From the teachings of our sages. The Jewish Education Program by Rabbi Mordechai Katz JEP Publications Philipp Feldheim Publishers Ltd. Parshas Beshalach. “The Miracle of the Yam Suf (Red Sea). There are always those who will deny the existence of miracles. They claim that the works of H are simply natural phenomena. This was the attitude that many non-believers assumed in regard to the splitting of the Red Sea. It was caused by an earthquake, they might claim; it was just a freak accident of nature.
To forestall any such beliefs, H magnified the miracle of the Yam Suf. He split not only the Red Sea, but also all the waters in the world. (Shemos 14:21, Rashi). Even water that was in a cup gravitated to two separate sides! Because of this, no one could deny that the splitting of the Yam Suf was a true miracle, a true Act of G, just as were all the plagues in Egypt.
As Bnai Yisroel were standing at the shores of the Yam Suf, watching their enemy draw closer by the minute, they seemed petrified. What could they do? Then one of the greatest among them, Nachshon ben Aminodov stepped forward and jumped into the waters of the Yam Suf, fully confident that H would save him. At the very moment that he touched the waters, they parted, and the Israelites walked through them ( Sotah 37a). It was Nachshon’s unwavering faith in H that led directly to the miracle that saved the Jews.
This is but one of the many examples of Jews standing at the edge of disaster, watching the enemy approaching and yet, because of their faith in H, surviving intact.”
Especially in these trying times, we need each other, we need achdus and
Shalom al Yisrael.
The Mesorah Continues.
Emunah and Betachon- Faith and Trust in H shall prevail.
His Shechinah shall be with us and continue
with the eventual arrival Mashiach Tzedkeinu Bimheira Veyameinu
Thank you. Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank