Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Vice President of Professional Development and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
====Wednesday April 5, 2023, Nisan 14 5783====
Betachon- our trust and our reliance in H.
Whatever we are mispallel to the Ribono shel Olam for or requesting
from a Rav a bracha for anything that is important for each person.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in H”
Forged in a Fire
After reading the following story by Rabbi Krohn, I felt it worthy to share the importance to trust H with one’s heart on a lofty level and not just in words alone.
From The Grandeur of the Maggid by Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn “Trustworthy Transactions” Artscroll Series Mesorah Publications Ltd. Pages 51-54 “In 1988, a few months after Shimon and Naomi Diamond* were married and were living in Israel, they were invited to attend his cousin Eli’s* aufruf in London. As they were making their travel plans, Shimon got a call from his father Pinny* in New York, who asked him for a favor.
Pinny had done business with a man in Yerushalayim, and the fellow was now able to repay the investment. “Can I have him bring you the money and you’ll bring it to me in London, as I too am coming to the aufruf?”
“Of course,” replied Shimon enthusiastically. “Chazal say Sheluchei mitzva einan nizokin, Those sent to perform a mitzva are not harmed (Pesachim 8a).”
Shimon and his wife decided that before going to London, they would go to Manchester, England, to receive a bracha from the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yehuda Zev Segal (1910-1993). The business associate came with the money, counted it out in front of Shimon, and the Diamonds were on their way.
When they arrived at the Rosh Yeshivah’s home, they were ushered into his office, but he was on the phone. Rav Segal motioned them to sit down as he continued talking.
Shimon could hear the Rosh Yeshivah’s words. “Don’t worry, the Ribbono shel Olam will take care: you’ll be able to pay for the wedding.”
Rav Segal went on to assure his listener, repeatedly telling him that the Ribono shel Olam has His ways and that everything would work out. After the Rosh Yeshiva ended the call, Shimon introduced himself and then asked, “The Rosh Yeshiva seems perturbed; is there any way I can be of assistance?”
Rav Segal explained that he was talking to his son-in-law, whose child would soon be married. “We will have to borrow money for the wedding.”
“How much is needed?” asked Shimon.
The Rosh Yeshiva responded, “$14,000.”
Shimon was astounded. “That is exactly what I have with me, and I would be honored to lend it to you so that you can make the chasunah.”
Shimon was sure that his father would allow him to lend his money to the Rosh Yeshiva. Indeed, the Shach (Chosen Mishpat 358:1) rules that one may use someone else’s money that he is holding, if he uses it in a manner that he is sure the owner would approve of.
Serenely, the Rosh Yeshiva said, “Baruch H, that is just what we need. I will write out a shtar (document) to you; I can pay you back after Pesach.” It was then four months until Yom Tov.
Shimon gave Rav Segal the money, the Rosh Yeshiva wrote a shtar, mazel tovs were extended, and no other mention was made of the topic. The Diamonds received warm berachos from the Rosh Yeshiva and were on their way.
On the train from Manchester to London, Shimon remarked to his wife that it was incredible that the Rosh Yeshiva did not become overwhelmed or even startled at the remarkable “coincidence” that a young couple had entered his office with the exact amount that he needed. It was almost as if he were expecting it to happen.
When Shimon told me the story, I mentioned that perhaps Rav Segal’s understated reaction is reflective of what David HaMelech writes in Tehillim (33:22), Yehi chasdichah H aleinu kaasher yichalnu lach, May Your kindness, H, be upon us [in equal measure], just as we awaited You. David HaMelech is teaching us that the greater bitachon was on such a lofty level that when the problem was solved, he was grateful but not surprised.
The Chovos HaLevavos at the start of his Shaar HaBitachon talks of the peace of mind that one experiences when he has appropriate bitachon. He cites the pasuk at the end of Bircas HaMazon, Baruch hagever asher yivtach baH’ vehayah H’mivtacho, Blessed is the man who trusts in H, then H will be his security (Yirmiyahu 17:7). The Metzuda David (ibid.) comments, “To the extent that one places his reliance on H, One can be confident that H will ensure that his needs are met and he is assisted.”
Perhaps we recite this pasuk as we end Bircas HaMazon as a reminder that just as we concluded a bread meal of sustenance, we can be assured of future sustaining meals, provided we wholeheartedly believe and have faith that everything comes from H.
Just as Rav Segal did.
On Erev Pesach in Boro Park there was a knock at Pinny’s door. The young man at the door said he was a shaliach of the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva. Then, the young man handed Pinny an envelope. Shimon had told the Rosh Yeshiva months earlier that the money should be returned to his father, Hence, the loan was “Paid in Full” even before Yom Tov.
A person must truly trust and rely in H and accept whatever He will decide what is best. Rav Segal had trust in the Ribono shel Olam. He wanted to find the $14,000 to help his son. Where it will come from he did not know, but his bakashos and his trust in the Ribono shel Olam must have been very strong.
It is a tremendous zechus to be a sheliach of the Ribono shel Olam helping others with whatever is necessary in life. From Haggadah shel Pesach Night of Emunah by Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky Artscroll Series Mesorah Publications Ltd.
Forged in a Fire pages 32-33 “Just a few days before Pesach, Rabbi Benzion Klatzko was on a kiruv trip to Texas. He assumed that back home, the Yom Tov preparations would be reaching their climax. The last-minute cleaning, cooking and shopping were no doubt all moving full steam ahead. He wondered how his wife was fairing.
Then the phone rang, and he found out that scene back home was very different from what he was imagining.
“Benzion, does H love us?” his wife’s strained voice questioned from across the phone lines.
“Of course He does! Why do you ask? What’s the matter?” Rabb Klazko asked.
“Don’t worry, everyone’s all right,” she quickly answered.
“But our house burned down. We had a major fire in the house and Baruch H, we all got out. But the house is gone.”
Rabbi Klatzko had plenty of time to ponder the situation on his way home from Austin. How could he find a place for his large family, just days before Yom Tov?
Their homeowner’s insurance offered to put them up in a local hotel, but that obviously wouldn’t work. They needed a place where they could set up for Pesach that was also close to a shul. The only realistic option was a Pesach-hotel program, but the insurance company wasn’t willing to cover such a “luxury.”
At that point, the Agudas Yisrael took up the Klatzko family’s cause. They convinced the insurance company to cover a portion of the Pesach-hotel costs, and Rabbi Klatzko agreed to defray the remainder of the cost by delivering speeches as part of the program.
During the week, Rabbi Klatzko spoke several times. After one speech, Rabbi Chaim Sampson introduced himself as the founder of Project Inspire and asked Rabbi Klatzko to speak at an upcoming event in Monsey. Rabbi Klatzko agreed.
While attending the Project Inspire event, Rabbi Klatzko thought about the situation in which he had found himself for Pesach. He now knew what it was like to have no place to go, but Baruch H, he had a safety net of friends and connections to forestall a real disaster. What about people who have no safety net? What about people who have no place to go for Shabbos, who have to search for invitations week after week? He knew there were plenty of baalei teshuvah who had no family to rely upon. There were divorced men and women, widows and widowers, orphans and people living in places where religious Jews are few and far between.
When he rose to speak, he had a brand-new concept to introduce. It was a website where people could offer to act as hosts, or find people willing to host them. It would serve not only as a matchmaking service, but a tremendous source of comfort to those who would otherwise have to wonder week after week where they could find a welcome.”
Since 2010 when Rabbi Klatzko’s website, shabbat.com was created. It has helped more that 400,000 people find meals for Shabbos and Yom Tov. The fire that ravaged his home became a powerful bonfire of chesed, which continues to warm thousands of soul each and every Shabbos.”
Though the words emunah and betachon are not found in the above story, one can definitely see Rabbi Klatzko and his wife’s tremendous betochon in the Ribono shel Olam. Rabbi Klatzko knew exactly what he wanted, what he needed for his wife, family and himself. He also knew what he also wanted to do for Klal Yisroel.
We too must be true in what we desire from the Ribono shel Olam. There are many stories of men and women whose desire to help others was so great, their bakashos to be successful were fulfilled. There are many chesed organizations that were formed by just a few and now have hundreds serving thousands across America, Israel and other parts of the world.
Day after day we read and hear about in the media so much negativity in different parts of the world. So much energy in all the wrong things in life. Yet, there is so much good being done. As the saying goes, “shoin tzeit far Mashiach”. It would be wonderful when we open the door and recite Shefoch Chamasecha if Eliyahu HaNavi would come to inform us that Mashiach is on his way.
I used to tell my mispallim to enjoy every moment of each Yom Tov and not say I cannot wait for the next day and the next day and then chol hamoed etc. For some, it is ‘I can’t wait for chol hamoed to begin”. We should look forward to each day and night and all the mitzvos we can fulfill and how special every minute is. Much praise must be given to all chaplains for the immense work and care you do before and during Pesach.
May we be able to be mekayeim/fulfill all the mitzvos of the Seder, all the
mitzvos of Pesach and enjoy every moment of this wonderful Yom Tov.
Chag Kasher V’Sameiach Pesach !
Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank
Please note the RAA weekly newsletter and the Moments of Inspiration
will not be published during Chol Hamoed .