web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Va’eschanan: ‘Wholeheartedly’

Staum-080814

The verses of Shema, recited thrice daily, form the cornerstone of our faith, responsibility, and devotion to G-d. A Jew is obligated to state with conviction, “You shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your ‘me’od.’”[1]

The Gemara[2] offers two explanations of the word “me’od.” The first: that me’od means “with all of your resources”; one must place G-d before his money and physical resources. The second: that one must love G-d despite whatever middah (character trait/Divine Attribute) G-d utilizes towards him. At times G-d may act towards a person with the attribute of justice, at other times with compassion. But no matter which attribute it is one must realize that G-d does all for the good and He must love G-d for that.

A Jew must love G-d on Tisha B’Av in the same way that he loves G-d on Simchas Torah. Even when events are inexplicable and painful, during times of loss and sadness, one must remind himself that G-d loves him and is always with him. Through that realization one will come to love G-d, regardless of which middah He utilizes towards him.

The great Chassidic master, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Barditchev, was renowned for his extreme piety and passion in his service to G-d. One night Reb Levi Yitzchok was staying at an inn and at midnight sat down on the floor to recite Tikkun Chatzos [3] as he did every night.

When the innkeeper was awakened by the sounds of weeping coming from one of his rooms, he was alarmed and went to see what was wrong. Reb Levi Yitzchok gently explained to the ignorant innkeeper that he was reciting special prayers to mourn the destruction of the Temple and the long exile that we are subject to. The innkeeper replied that those tragic events transpired centuries earlier. Why cry over spilled milk? The Rebbe described to his host the grandeur and opulence that was Jerusalem. He described the Kohanim doing the service in the Bais HaMikdash and bringing the offerings on the altar, while the Leviim sang harmoniously. He delineated the many miracles that were omnipresent in the Bais HaMikdash, and the feeling of closeness and connection that every Jew felt with his Creator.

When the innkeeper heard the Rebbe’s description he began to cry. In fact, he cried so intensely that soon Reb Levi Yitzchok had to put his arm around the innkeeper to console him. “Despite what we have lost, we are actually quite fortunate,” began the Rebbe. “On Tisha B’Av afternoon, after spending hours sitting on the floor and reciting lamentations, recounting all the tragedies that have befallen us as a people during the exile, we arise and don our Talis and Tefillin.[4] During Mincha we recite the added prayer “Nachem” which requests G-d to console us for our losses. How does this drastic transition occur? How can we begin to accept consolation when moments before we were in a state of inconsolable grief? Furthermore, most of the Bais HaMikdash burned during the afternoon of the ninth and the morning of the tenth of Av. Why are we rising from our most intense state of mourning during the time when the flames were ravaging the Sanctuary?”

The Rebbe continued, “The truth is that we do not comprehend G-d’s kindness and love for us. Our Sages explain that G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash in order to preserve us. Had He allowed us to receive the retribution we justly deserved we would have been destroyed. But because He channeled His anger, as it were, towards the physical structure of the Bais HaMikdash, we were able to survive the harrowing and traumatic ordeal. Therein lies our solace! The very fact that G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash demonstrates His love for us, for He destroyed His own home and exiled Himself, as it were, rather than destroy His beloved Nation.

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead, as well as Guidance Counselor and fifth grade Rebbe in ASHAR, and Principal at Mesivta Ohr Naftoli of New Windsor. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com. Visit him on the web at www.stamtorah.info.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Parshas Va’eschanan: ‘Wholeheartedly’”

  1. GOD BLESS ISRAEL+IDF.
    GOD LOVES YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    GOD PROTECT YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    WE LOVE YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    WE STAND WITH YOU ISRAEL+IDF.
    FOREVER

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

A person who truly feels that everything is a blessing from G-d will count his blessings and realize just how much he has.

Avraham became a great man during the 175 years of his life, while his predecessors became increasingly wicked, despite staggering knowledge, during their lifetimes of hundreds of years.

Often in life we become stuck – stuck in the morass of our habits and the rote of our comfort level.

The innkeeper smiled and replied, “Why do you think we are dancing? We are dancing because G-d destroyed the Bais HaMikdash!”

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-vaeschanan-wholeheartedly-2/2014/08/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: