Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Vice President of Professional Development and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
917-446-2126 rablenblank@gmail.com
Thursday August 3, 2023, Av 16, 5783


Rabbi Eyton Feiner’s remarkable emunah, betachon and love for H,
and those who mean so much to him. He is a fantastic role model for all of us.

It is not only about our bakashos to H, but actually speaking to Him.

Good Shabbos, Ribono Shel Olam.

How can we be commanded to love?

Ahavas H: A daily fulfillment.

Peace of mind. A way of life. A life with emunah in H. Mr. Avi Shulman’s father
way of life. Never taking a wife’s help and services for granted.

H, He will love you and He will bless you.


I have written about Rav Eyton Feiner before, but after watching, listening and being moved by his interview for the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Tisha B Av video, I had to share and begin my article with the following comments. Rav Feiner spoke with tremendous passion the importance of bakashos, not just being mispallel, but actually speaking to the Ribono shel Olam. Also expressing one’s love and appreciation for the Ribono shel Olam. Rav Feiner shared his immense love and appreciation to his wife for everything she does for him and their son. Rav Feiner shared the importance of appreciating H’s kindness even with a son who went from being a normal baby to a medical crisis that changed his sons life and well-being. Rav Feiner shared the importance of having a Rebbi such as his Rav Tzvi Berkowitz who he conversed with almost immediately and who gave him tremendous inspiration, encouragement and peace of mind as well. His Rebbe who was in Israel at the time of his call, was instrumental in uplifting Rav Feiner’s spirits and love for his precious son despite his son who wont be like a normal boy due to his medical and physical disabilities. To Rav Feiner, his son will be his normal son loving him, caring for him and appreciating everything about him and the life H will give him. Rav Feiner shared how grateful he is to have such a wonderful Eizer Kenegdow and Aishis Chayil as his wife. His message was loud and clear how each and everyone of us should have a relationship with the Ribono shel Olam that is close and meaningful. His message how a husband should appreciate his wife and how each of us should always show our hakaros hatov to others. He shared how wonderful his wife is as a mother and a dear and caring wife to him and the love they have for each other as Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu had for each other. It is so important never to take one’s spouse for granted. Rav Feiner, as with all the speakers for the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Tisha B Av event were remarkable. Rav Feiner’s interview was a powerhouse of emunah, betachon and love for H and how we should be with a full and sincere heart.

From The Mystery and the Majesty, Sefer Magid Harakia The grandeur and nobility of the Days of Awe and Joy by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, Artscroll Series, Mesorah Publications Ltd. Pages 61-62 “How Can We Be Commanded To Love?

Rav Akiva Eiger presents a beautiful idea: H commands us to love Him, but how can we be instructed to love someone or something? If one has a dislike for another person, for example, he cannot learn to love that person by merely being commanded to do so. So how can H expect us to love Him simply because we are told we must? The answer is that there is a rule in relationships: Kamayim hapanim lapanim kein leiv haadam laadam, As water reflects a face back to a face, so one’s heart is reflected back to him by another (Mishlei 27:19); i.e., if someone loves you, then you will love him back. Love is reciprocated. The Shema that we recite daily states, veahavta eis H, you shall love H. However, immediately preceding the Shema is the phrase, “habocher beamo Yisrael beahava”! H has selected us with love! Once we recognize that H loves us, then we can readily be instructed to love H, since love is reciprocal.”

“Ahavas H: A Daily Fulfillment” “The Chofetz Chaim writes that although ahavas H is one of the few mitzvos asei d’Oraisa that we can perform daily, it is a mitzva whose actual fulfillment is, for some reason, often neglected. Indeed, the Chofetz Chaim recommends that we should be careful not to eat in the mourning until we are certain we have fulfilled this mitzva. We should bear this thought in mind when we say the pasuk V’ahavta es H Elokecha, as noted above, or at least contemplate our love for H before leaving the shul in the morning to return home.

In Sefer Ahavas Chessed, the Chofetz Chaim notes that ahavas H is not a very lofty madregah. He points out that there is a difference between ahavah and deveikus. The Torah tells us, uvo sibak, and to Him shall you cleave (Devarim 10:20); deveikus, cleaving to H, means that the feeling of ahavah is constantly in one’s heart. It is always present. Ahavas H, on the other hand, may be present only on occasion, when a person is motivated and stirred to love H. The madreigah of ahavas H is reached even if it is not on one’s mind at all times.

Rav Avigdor Miller would say that a person should not let a single day pass by without articulating, at least once, “I love You H.” Although the Rambam describes ahavas Has a very exalted madreigah, nevertheless, the Gra felt that ahavas H can be taught even to young children. Perhaps that highest levels of ahavas H can be achieved only by noteworthy tzaddikim, but there are more basic levels of ahavas H that are within the reach of each and every one of us. Therefore, we can utilize even a basic level of ahavas H as an impetus for teshuvah mei’ahavah that can then catapult us to garner zechusim that surpass the zechusim of tzaddikim gemurim.”

“Good Shabbos, Ribbono Shel Olam” by Rabbi Boruch Leff, from the Yated Ne’eman July 28m 2023 Page 93 “We lost someone very special in Baltimore recently. Rabbi Sholom Weingot, a renowned talmid chochom, rosh kollel of Dirshu, expert mechnech, baal menagein, baal middos tovos, and man of good cheer was niftar just weeks before his 70th birthday.

One of the maspidim mentioned that Rabbi Weingot would write niggunim and share them with his family and some friends. One of them was called “Good Shabbos, Ribono Shel Olam…Mah Rabu Maasecha H.” This is such a unique expression. One of Rabbi Weingot’s sons commented in his hesped that “it seems awkward to say good Shabbos to H Yisbarach, but my father was literally in love with the Ribbono Shel Olam and would constantly speak of His kindness and greatness. It was so natural for him to give H a good Shabbos greeting.”

This practice actually has a very good precedent. There is a mesorah that upon waking every day, after saying Modeh Ani and washing his hands, the Baal Shem Tov would look up to H and say, “Good morning, Ribbono Shel Olam!” Some say that Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev had a similar practice. [Avraham Fried released a song with this theme recently.]

But there is an even older precedent. The Gemara (Shabbos 89a) states (paraphrased). “Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: When Moshe ascended on High, he found Hakadosh Boruch Hu tying crowns to letters. Moshe just watched but said nothing. H said to him:”Moshe, klum yeish shalom b’irecha, is there no greeting in your city? Moshe replied, “Does a servant greet his master? H said to him, “At least you should have assisted Me and wished Me success in My work,’ Immediately, Moshe said to Him, “And now, may the power of he L-rd be great as you have spoken (Bamidbar 14:17)”

Indeed, Moshe felt that it was a lack of reverence to greet H, perhaps based on the idea that a servant needs to be addressed first before addressing his master. But H told Moshe that when one comes with ahavah, love, and not merely yirahm awe and fear, it is very appropriate to greet H and especially to wish Him success. We find another Gemara (Brachos 7a) that says that H asked for a brocha from Rav Yishmoel ben Elisha when he when he was doing his service as kohein gadol on Yom Kippur in the Kodesh Hakodoshim. Rav Yishmoel “blessed” H that He should be able to act mercifully with the world so that His creations can serve Him properly, thus bringing the world to the purpose that H desires.

So, Rabbi Weingot’s niggun and greeting H with a “Good Shabbos” is very appropriate, especially for someone who feels great love for Him.”

From Mesilas Yesahrim The Path Of The Just by Moshe Chaim Luzzato English Version Feldheim Publishers. “We shall now speak of the love of G and its three branches- joy, communion and jealousy. Love of G consists in a person’s desiring and actually lusting for the nearness of the Blessed One and pursuing His holiness as one pursues anything which he strongly desires. This love extends so far as to cause the mere mentioning of the Blessed One’s Name, the reciting of His praises and the occupation with the words of His Torah and with the nature of the Blessed One’s Divinity to be a delight and a pleasure to one, in the same manner that one who very strongly loves the wife of his youth or his only son finds joy and pleasure in merely speaking of them. As scripture states (Jeremiah 31:19), “For when I speak of him, I will strongly remember him.”

From Candlelight “As candlelight can lead to a treasure… a simple thought can lead to profound understanding. A collection of thoughtful insights. But Mr. Avi Shulman. Mesorah Publications Ltd “Peace of Mind” Pages 187-190 “Three words are necessary to describe the peace of mind and serenity with which my father taught himself to live and to enjoy life.

Cheshbon and seder mean forethought and planning, order and priority. My father would always go to shul having the right sefarim, to the bank with everything necessary to the store with a list, and to a lawyer’s office with every paper in place. He always had coins for tzedakah, a small sefer in his pocket (why waste time?), and was prepared for Shabbos and Yom Tov well in advance.

Kevios means fixed, stationary, or important, as opposed to flighty, temporary, or casual. Ther was no such thing as “grabbing a bite.” His meal required washing, sitting down, eating bread with the food, and bentching. He may have chosen to eat little, but there was always a structure to his meal. There was no concept of “running into the bank for a minute.” One went to the bank to transact business. Surely there was no allowance for catching up in davening or rushing into Shabbos. One went to shul to daven. Davening was the focal point, not something one did in haste just to be finished. Likewise, one prepared for, anticipated, and welcomed the Shabbos.

Whatever my father was doing at the moment was his prime, and actually his only, concern! He would not eat while preparing a gemilus chesed deposit any sooner than he would prepare a deposit while eating. When my father prepared his own meal, he would set the table with everything he needed including mayim achronim. Only then would he sit down to eat and he remained seated until he had completed benching.

The popular image of a busy executive who talks on two phones while dictating, reading papers, and speaking to several people at the same time was the antithesis of my father’s principles of how one should conduct his business or his life.

The unspoken message of his actions was: “I am fully prepared. I am now where I am supposed to be and where I want to be. At this moment I do not acknowledge any other claims on myself or my time. All my attention is focused solely on what I am doing.”

Lest you imagine that my father’s unusual tranquility was the result of a life unscathed by problems, let me assure you that such was not the case. His life was replete with disappointments, business failures, lost opportunities, illness, and other painful situations.

The underpinning of his tranquility was not a sophisticated, philosophical belief, but a practical, personal, “hands on” faith in H. This faith taught, “I am always and totally in the Almighty’s care. The particular situation that I am in now, the place, time and problem is one that the Almighty knows is to my greatest benefit. He is my best friend. He always loves me and will always protect me, therefore no one can harm me.”

There were no regrets for what could have been, no envy or anger towards anyone.

This total reliance on H’s care was counterbalanced by a strong sense of personal responsibility, the kind that teaches, “If I don’t do it for myself, who will?”

As a young boy in the early 1900’s he had no economic or personal support systems. Neither well-meaning parents, nor family, friends, society or government offered a cushion to the harsh reality of life. If you were to “make it,” you had to be the one to do it. Personal responsibility became a way of life in everything he did. If you opened the drawer, you closed it. If you were the one who put the light on, then your turned it off. If you said “yes,” then you had to live up to the commitment. No other person could do it for you.

Personal responsibility led to the next step, gratitude. Since nobody was obligated to do anything for you, when someone did something for you, whether it was a time-consuming favor or a small courtesy, there was always an expression of appreciation. As an example, throughout our many years of active family involvement my parents never took my wife’s help and services for granted. Each and every time her work, care and devotion was always graciously acknowledged.”


From Parshas Eikev Devarim (7:12) From Artscroll Mesorah Publications Ltd,

(Translation from the Stone Chumash) “It shall be because you will listen to these judgments, and you will observe and perform them, that H, your G, will safeguard for you the covenant and the kindness that H swore to your forefathers. He will love you, He will bless you and He will multiply you, and He will bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your Land; your grain, your wine, and your oil; the offspring of your cattle and the herds of your flocks; upon the Land that He swore to your forefathers to give to you.”

Avraham Avinu, Yitzchok Avinu, Yaakov Avinu, Moshe Rabeinu, Aharon Hakohein Gadol, Dovid Hamelech, Shlomo Hamelech, our Naviim, did not see, nor physically touch the Ribono Shel Olam, Yet they all had that special relationship, emunah, betachon and love for Him. Though we are not able to communicate with Hakadosh Baruch Hu as they were able to, our faith and love in Him can also be strong to the best of our ability. That ability is up to each of us. Our belief that our bakashos are heard by H can be very strong and meaningful. In our hearts we must believe the above. As Rabbis, Rebbetzins and Chaplains we too can convey those beliefs to those who we minister to. After all, isn’t giving and receiving brachos, our blessings all about- having faith and love in H. Most of all, we must be sincere in our relationship with H, with those who mean so much to us and to everyone we offer care and minister to.

Rav Eyton Feiner is a truly remarkable inspiration to us with his immense passion, his love, and his compassion for H Yisbarach, his spouse, his son, for all those he cares for and for Klal Yisrael. He shared a very important conviction we must have and that is there are many segulas, but a person must have emunah and betachon in the Ribono Shel Olam.

From Between me and You. Heartfelt Prayers for Each Jewish Woman
Compiled and adapted from the prayers of Rav Noson Sternhartz
by Yitzchok Leib Bell. Published by: Nachas Books, Jerusalem/New York.


Dearest G,
May I always feel part of You,
And cherish the great love
You have for us, Your holy people.

You chose us and raised us.

Your love for us clothes itself
In Your mitzvot,
Which attach us to Your holiness.

Yours is a true love, without limit,
Instilled in the Torah and mitzvot
That You gave us
Through Moses, our teacher.

Please help me carry out Your will
With loving desire,
So that I can recognize the true love
Hidden in the secrets of Your Torah.

G, I appreciate
That the great love between us
Is beyond all time and space.

 Thank you. Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank