Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts for the Upcoming Hilula of Rachel Imenu on 11 Cheshvan

Let's take some inspiration from Today's Hahkel Email and daven for the Geulah!

Special Note One: Relating to our Mama Rachel, we provide the following two moving insights, as previously published:

1. From a reader: When we speak about Rachel Imeinu, we say, ‘Kol b’ramah nishma...Rachel mivaka al baneha ki eineinu...--a voice is heard on high...Rachel is crying about her children....’ The word ‘mivaka’ seems to be grammatically incorrect. The definition of ‘mivaka’ is to cause someone else to cry. The question is why do we use this term for cry? If Rachel is crying for us on High (as we know that Hashem says that her tears are going to bring the geula) why is the term ‘mivaka--causing to cry’--used?! The pasuk should simply say, ‘Rachel bocha--Rachel is crying’ because she is constantly crying for us to come out of galus! The answer could be that Rachel Imeinu is crying because we are not crying! She is trying to get us to cry out of the pain of galus because we seem to forget where we are. What we have to do now is cry out to Hashem and beg and plead for Him to take us out! Rachel is trying to get us to cry, to feel uncomfortable in galus. If we don’t feel like we are in galus and we don’t cry out to Hashem, then why should He take us out altogether?! If we are fine where we are, then why should anything change? The only way to get out is by asking for it! So take out your siddur, take out your Sefer Tehillim or use your own words to BEG Hashem to bring us out of galus! And THEN Hashem will be able to tell Rachel Imeinu, ‘Minee koleich m’bechee v’einayich midim’ah,’--Rachel, you can stop crying, because ‘v’shavu banim ligevulam,’ Bnei Yisroel will return to their boundaries. May we all have the zechus to see these very words come true!” Hakhel Note: Thank you, and may the pasuk ‘‘those who plant seed with tears will reap with joy’’ be fulfilled speedily and in our day!

2. HaRav Chaim Shmuelevitz, Z’tl, while once at Kever Rochel, was overheard to have said that although Hashem had instructed Rochel Imeinu not to cry, he, “Chaim,” was asking her to cry for her children. The question is clear--if Hashem told Rochel Imeinu not to cry, how could HaRav Shmuelevitz--“Chaim”--seemingly go against this order and ask her to cry? Some say, that HaRav Shmuelevitz himself answered the question by explaining that while a father (Hashem) could tell his daughter to calm down and not cry, a child (such as HaRav Shmuelevitz) could ask his mother to show a special care and concern for her children.

A second explanation is given in the name of HaRav Moshe Aharon Stern, Z’tl, who teaches that Hashem, by telling Rochel that she didn’t have to cry, was actually inviting further supplication and tears. HaRav Stern draws the parallel to Hashem’s response to the sin of the Golden Calf, where He tells Moshe Rabbeinu, “Leave me alone and I will destroy them,” even though Moshe had not yet asked for mercy from Hashem for the Chait HaEgel (See Shemos 32:10 and Rashi there).

There is an extremely important lesson for us here. HaRav Matisyahu Salomon, Shlita, notes that the Bais HaMikdash is referred to as the “Sukkas Dovid HaNofoles” (Amos 9:11 )--as the falling/fallen booth of Dovid. He explains that the word “Nofoles” is meant to inspire us to picture a person or a precious object as it is falling and as it finally falls. He or it is not in its natural or proper position. Something that is falling or has fallen, must be picked up and placed where it is supposed to be.

The Navi teaches that Rochel Imeinu cried for her children. HaRav Shmuelevitz asked her to keep crying. Likewise, the Navi tells us that we must recognize that the Bais HaMikdash is Nofoles. We, too, must do everything in our power to pick it back up. How? May we suggest that at some point in the day we follow in the footsteps of our Mama Rochel. We should take a moment out to envision the falling in front of us--and do what we can to stop the fall by asking Hashem to raise up, and keep up, that most precious possession, to Him and to us, the most special place on earth, the Bais HaMikdash.

May the words of Hashem to Rochel--“there is a reward for your actions--and your children will return to their borders” then ring true for our actions, as well, speedily and in our day!

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