web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Reb Meir Premishlaner’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/28/10

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Dear Rachel,

These days we often hear the lament of the younger generation being obsessed with a sense of entitlement and of children who want, want, and want some more. Well, maybe we ought to take a second look at the adults raising them. Why should children be any different from their parents and want less?

I know a “grown-up” who is never happy with what she has, regardless of how loaded she is (and believe me, she’s got plenty). Just as soon as someone else has “it,” she wants “it” too. Her constant cravings, I might add, make her one unhappy person.

Some people are simply never satisfied and are constantly striving to attain more and more worldly goods. If only their cravings would be of a spiritual kind, they’d possibly end up gaining something of value.

We need to impress upon our children, while they are still young, that being envious of others is a trait that will leave them embittered and miserable all of their lives. Though I didn’t know this woman in her younger years, I am quite sure that her envious streak manifested itself in her childhood.

The irony is that we never really know what troubles lurk on the other side of the opulent entranceway to our neighbor’s mansion. Instead of focusing on another’s good fortune, let’s revel in our own! We’ll all be better off for it.

I’ll keep mine; you can keep yours

Dear Keep,

A man once approached Reb Meir Premishlaner to bemoan the fact that someone was threatening his livelihood. The Rebbe responded by asking him if he ever saw a horse drinking water from a lake. All the while the horse drinks it stomps the ground with his feet, the reason being that he sees another horse there that wants to drink (its reflection) and it is fearful that the other horse will drink up all the water. We all know that there is enough water in the lake for many horses, continued Reb Meir, and no one can touch that which belongs to you.

As the Rebbe told his worried visitor, the one who has faith in Hashem and believes that everything comes from Him, knows there’s no purpose to envying anyone else.

Envy (being desirous of what another has) and jealousy (additionally not farginning the other to have) not only create a state of unhappiness but threaten the wellbeing of both the person being coveted and the one doing the coveting – so much so that the Shemonei Esrei prayer (among others) includes an entreaty that we be safeguarded from being consumed by envy and from being exposed to the flawed trait in another, directed at us.

The Korlitzer Rebbe, in the sefer Chazon Ish, writes that contemplating another’s success with an evil eye can completely disrupt that success and Shlomo HaMelech (in Mishlei) puts it this way: “The life of the body is a heart at peace, while envy rots the bones.”

So what steps can we take to protect our children from the scourge of begrudging others their due? Teaching by example is number one. A calm and serene home environment will imbue our children with a healthy sense of self. (Children readily perceive a parent’s discontentedness.)

We can further instill self-confidence in our young ones by loving them unconditionally. Siblings are not created equal; their personalities differ, as do their natural talents and intellectual capabilities – which can unfortunately lead some parents to openly favor one child over the other. The overlooked child will inevitably develop feelings of inadequacy and the bitter seed of envy will take root.

Every neshama is special and has something special to offer. The big bonus of helping each individual child reach his/her potential: a satisfied and self-confident adult who is less likely to chase elusive dreams and long for what everybody else seems to have.

According to the Baal Shem Tov, a craving, a desire, in a human being is like salty water for a thirsty person. Not only does it fail to quench his thirst, it makes him even thirstier. The same applies to a desire a person gives in to; indulging the craving will only intensify it until it will do him in.

Hashem provides each of us with our specific needs. If you had your eye on a house and it was sold to someone else before you had a chance to act on your desire, then it wasn’t meant for you. If you got to the sale way past the time you had planned on getting there and still found the robe you had set your heart on, it wasn’t sheer luck – it was meant for you to own.

Appreciate what comes your way and fargin (be happy for) your friend’s acquisitions. You, my dear reader, have the right attitude. Thank you for sharing your invaluable insight.

* * * * *

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 5/21/10

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Dear Rachel,

That the world is a scary place is no chiddush, but that we must guard ourselves from our own, now that’s scary!

Let me explain: The other day, as I browsed a local store’s wide magazine display for a Good Housekeeping issue, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a figure hunched over in an unusual manner. Turning my head in that direction, I saw a young man about 17 or 18, in full chassidic garb, intensely absorbed in a “girlie” magazine. My irritation got the better of me.

“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” I blurted out. I admit I really let him have it. He jumped up and scurried away, but I wasn’t done with him. I followed him to the door and asked him which rebbe’s tish he was going to attend on Friday night.

Before anyone accuses me of being anti-chassidic, let me assure you that I have close family and many friends who are chassidish and have an overall reverence for chassidism. That’s what made me even angrier.

Rachel, the thing that set me off was the fact that there were all kinds of people in the store, Jews and non-Jews alike, and that this young man portraying himself as ultra-religious was creating a chilul-Hashem.

No, I don’t blame him for being curious – hormones, I am quite aware, make no distinction between secular, modern orthodox and chassidish. Male is male.

I do however blame him for dressing the part of the ultra-orthodox and pious individual. You want to look? Take off the long payos, the long jacket and the black hat that depicts you as a religious and G-d fearing person.

What bothers me is the hypocrisy and I can’t help but worry for my grandchildren who are quickly approaching shidduch age. How can anyone trust anyone these days? When a shidduch comes up, how are we to discern someone’s true colors?

What is our world coming to? I realize there is no pat answer but I needed to vent.

An Alarmed Bubby

Dear Alarmed,

There is indeed no pat answer. We do the best we can with the tools at our disposal: hishtadlus and sincere prayer to our Guardian that never sleeps – a far more effective strategy than excessive worry that doesn’t accomplish a thing.

It is for sure a daunting task to shield our innocent children from the “pollution” that invades our space. Our responsibility as parents is to smother our children with love and attention, give them the best chinuch at our disposal and to teach by example.

Is there then a guarantee that they will grow up to be moral, upstanding and learned individuals? There are no guarantees in life, but we will have infused in them a strong “immune system” that will, with Divine guidance, sustain them through any emotional and spiritual hurdles down the road.

There is a great story told about Reb Meir of Premishlan who, upon preparing for davening one Shavuos morning, suddenly discovered the meaning of some words he had heard as a child from Reb Mordechai of Kremnitz.

During a winter season, the two had traveled together down an icy sloping hill and a young Meir had been petrified that the wagon would turn over with them inside. When the child stood up ready to jump off, Reb Mordechai grabbed a hold of him and told him to sit back down.

The elder assured the younger that nothing would happen. Sure enough, nothing did and they made it safely down, coming to a straight path where there no longer seemed to be any reason to be afraid.

All at once the wagon overturned, tossing them into the snow. Reb Mordechai laughed and remarked to young Meir, “You see now!” But little Meir had no idea what Reb Mordechai meant to convey with his remark.

“Today before davening,” explained Reb Meir Premishlaner on that enlightening Shavuos day, “it suddenly dawned on me that Reb Mordechai wanted to teach me a way of serving Hashem. If a Jew is in constant fear of falling into the yetzer hara’s trap, Hashem will help him steer clear of it.

“On the other hand, the person who in his self-assurance has no fear of falling can suddenly find himself in a bad way.

“Now I finally understood what Reb Mordechai had meant by telling me to sit down when I was scared and by saying ‘you see now!’ when we fell into the snow – just when I was confident that the danger had passed and had felt no fear.”

Shavuos is a great time for a major spiritual overhaul for all of us. As we commemorate the time we stood at Har Sinai and accepted the Torah with a promise “to do and to heed,” we are given the opportunity to renew our sacred commitment to the One Above.

Torah study without yiras Shamayim (fear of Heaven) is essentially “doing” without “heeding.” It is only by instilling yiras Shamayim in our children that we stand the chance of reaping true yiddish nachas for all eternity.

Chag Sameach!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-246/2010/05/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: