Monday, February 28, 2011

New Zealand Earthquakes After-effects for us

From today's Hakhel email:

Special Note One: As the Arab world continues to totter, as the after-effects of the earthquake in New Zealand shockingly appear, and the Western World is reminded of all of the world turmoil with drastically increasing oil prices--where does this leave the Torah Jew? Let us look for a moment at Tehillim Kepitel 99 (to be the Chapter of the day in Nach Yomi later this week!). There, Dovid HaMelech states: “Hashem Malach Yirgezu Amim Yosheiv Keruvim Tanut HaAretz--Hashem has reigned: let peoples tremble; before Him who is enthroned on Keruvim, let the earth quake” (Tehillim 99:1). Our relationship with Hashem is symbolized by Keruvim as well--the Keruvim on top of the Aron described in last week’s Parsha (Shemos 37:7-9). The Keruvim teach us that our lives are to be focused at Hashem and what Hashem wants of us in this world. By focusing on Hashem, we are constantly reminded that our goal in life is to constantly elevate ourselves spiritually--to gradually be better--to steadily attain new gains and set new goals. This, of course, brings us to our daily aspiration, our daily ambition--Teshuva BeChol Yom!

In order to help us accomplish this task, the Sefer Orchos Tzadikim (in the Sha’ar HaZechira--which contains 30 items that we should Always Remember) provides the following potent one-sentence instruction: IN HEBREW: “Veyishal MeiElokim Aizer Sheya’azreihu Veyodiahu Chochma, VeYechazek Aivarav Lisbol Mitzvosav VeLa’alos Madreiha Achar Madreiga.” IN ENGLISH: One should remember to ask Hashem (Hakhel Note: We believe the intent is at least daily) for His Help in teaching him wisdom and its ways, and in strengthening his body to perform the Mitzvos so that he can continuously raise himself to higher levels in life. Perhaps one can write this thought in his Siddur after Elokai Netzor. Please recall the words of the Ramban in Parshas Shemos (which we had previously published) in which the Ramban writes that the reason Moshe Rabbeinu was not healed form his speech impediment at the Burning Bush was that he had not asked to be healed--and that if had asked for it, it would have been answered! Let us make sure that, daily, we make sincere and appropriate requests for Hashem’s assistance in helping us focus--and Hashem, represented by the Keruv facing us--will have something very important and very worthwhile to answer!

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