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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


This Too Shall End - POST-Purim Torah

I just recently returned home from a wonderful Purimdik weekend in Tzfas and the North of Israel, where we enjoyed a fantastic Purim seuda at a very dear and close friend's home, Yad HaLevi. After being inspired himself with some Purim beverages, he inspired us with some Divrei Torah, which have a post-Purim message for all of us.
First, he mentioned that someone came to Rav Elazar [Luzer] Koenig of Tzfas. The man was broken, having just gone through a painful divorce, compounded by losing his job. Rav Koenig did not answer him with platitudes, but merely said, "Sometimes we have to serve Hashem from whatever state we're in -- even from extreme pain."
My host then shared the following, which appeared in last week's English HaModia, in the magazine section. For those who want more info on Rav Hutner, my post on him is here. [And BTW, the pic there is from a Purim seuda; behind him, his talmidim are dancing!]
This Too Shall End
A Purim vort by HaRav Yitzchak Hutner Zt"l
Late one Purim night, following hours of imparting insights into every aspect of the day, after joyous merrymaking with talmidim as a multipiece band poured out his favorite tunes, having consumed an entire bottle of wine which would have dimmed the faculties of anyone with less mental facility, the Rosh Yeshiva said the following:
David HaMelech [King David] says in Tehillim, ''The spirited rush of the waves, You calm and still'' (89:10). An alternate translation is "the waves You praise."
Chazal [our Sages] say that the waves are indeed praiseworthy, for they know that as soon as they hit the coastline, they cease to exist.
Nonetheless, as long as the roaring breakers rise in the sea, they do their duty, obediently raising havoc and storm.
I don't mind, the Rosh Yeshiva said on that night, if after Pesach I am left with a little freedom; nor do I mind if after Shavuos I stay with a bit of Torah. But how would it look if, after Purim, I were to remain tipsy?
For that I am indeed laudable. I am fully cognizant of the fact that in a few hours everything will come to an abrupt end. Pretty soon the wine will cease to have an effect on me, and all revelries will be brought to a close. But until then, until the very last moment, I will continue to celebrate, ardently and wholeheartedly.
Is this not, in fact, a parable for all of life?

The story about Rav Kenig reminds me of this one:

Once a man came to the Rizhiner and complained about his horrible disease, stating that his affliction interfered with learning and praying. The Rebbe put his hand on the sick man's shoulder and said, "How do you know, my friend, what is more pleasing to Hashem, your studying or your suffering?"
I wonder these thoughts myself.
Who know vus is chashuv in the world of truth.
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