This past week, Am Israel lost two great leaders. Rabbi Meshulam David Halevy Soloveitchik, who lead the Brisker Yeshiva, and Rabbi Yitzchak Sheiner, the head of the Kaminetz Yeshiva, here in Jerusalem. The coincidence of these two great rabbis passing away just hours from one another shocked everyone.
Jewish people believe in Olam Habah, the World to come. True, we live in this world 120 years. However, after we pass away, we go up to heaven and stand before the heavenly courts and give account for all of our actions throughout our lives. When great leaders and honorable rabbis pass from this world they must report not only upon their personal actions, but they must speak on behalf of all the thousands of followers they had as well.
The world is still going through great turmoil revolving around this virus, that is creating great uncertainty and a desperate feeling of what the future holds.
Hashem, who is leading us all, and sees from one end of the world to the next, loves all of his creations and wants to do good for us all. The actions that take place here on earth have an effect on the whole world.
In a physical sense we have heard of the expression ‘global warming.’ Climate change includes changes driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. These changes come about from the changes the people on earth have gone through in the past few centuries, such as the usage of gas and oil more and more. If we think way back to the times of our forefathers, they drove a camel or a donkey and there was no gas or oil pollution in the air. All this is on a physical level.
The examples of the changes from centuries ago till today are vast. Change throughout the generations are not only on a physical level, but on a spiritual one as well. The more the modern world has its effect on its inhabitants, the more the spiritual world takes a back stage and is more hidden. Today a person who wants to enhance their knowledge regarding a certain topic, with the click of a finger, they can find all the information they need online. This has its impact on society. For the children today, making an effort, is figuring out how to open a new app, or how to send a message online to a friend.
This effect on the generation leaves a lot more responsibility in the hands of our great leaders. Small children need much more supervision and aren’t held responsible for almost any of their actions. The world at large and especially the spiritual world, is in a position of “children.”
The great rabbis from the past generation are leaving us one by one at the ages of 99, and 100 and no great leaders are taking their place. It’s written that in the days before the final redemption there will be no one to rely on since all the great leaders will be gone. And there will be a great thirst for true leaders and the knowledge of Torah and Hashem.
With the passing of the great Rabbis Soloveitchik and Sheiner from this world, they are literally pleading on the behalf of all the children of Israel. Begging Hashem to have mercy on his creations and to save us from this terrible uncertainty and disease the world has been facing over the past year.
Our actions have an effect on the whole world. These great rabbis and the Torah they spread, kept the world alive. With them absent, the loss will be felt by everyone; not only their followers. Great leaders effect the whole world, whether we feel it or see it.
May Hashem have mercy on us all and bring this horrible epidemic and difficult time to an end and enable us to worship Hashem in good times and health.
In this week’s Torah portion, Yitro, we received the Torah on Har Sinai, and have been living by that light till this very day. May the light of the Torah heal us all and bring the true redemption to us all, here and now. Amen.