Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beautiful story of talmidim who volunteered to help hurricane cleanup

From Rabbi Baruch Lederman's ShulWeek email:

"Kum na..."   "Please rise (father)..."  (27:19)
When Yaakov was garbed in Esav's clothing, he was still polite and respectful of his father. He was still Yaakov inside. His
goodness could not be suppressed. The goodness of tzadikim (the righteous) still shines even in the most incongruous situations,
as the following true story illustrates:

November 2012 is a month that shall live in infamy in the Northeast, with the Superstorm Sandy hurricane, followed by the Nor'easter
snow storm. Though I now live in San Diego, I grew up in New York. I have many friends and family members there. Houses and cars
were submerged in water. People found snakes and fish inside and around their houses. Salt water did extensive corrosive
damage. One of the areas particularly hard hit was Far Rockaway, New York.

Each day in the aftermath of the storms, carloads of talmidim (students), 15 to 30 to 60 strong, from the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva (RSA)
drove to Far Rockaway to assist those adversely affected.  They schlepped, they cleaned, they loaded [belongings], and in some
cases they unloaded [carloads of holy books, water-damaged beyond repair, needed to be disposed of in a proper dignified
manner].  They all returned each day weary and a little sore, but satisfied that they had done a little something to ease the pain of
fellow Jews in need.

One evening, after a day of cleaning, a group of talmidim returned from a day of cleaning. It was time for Mincha (the afternoon
prayers), so they headed straight to the Young Israel of Queens Valley for services. When they got to the lobby of the shul, it dawned
on them that they were clad in dirty, dusty, grimy, sweaty work clothes. They didn't feel it was respectful to enter the main sanctuary of
the synagogue dressed like that. At that moment Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, Rav of the Young Israel of Queens Valley walked into the
lobby and found the bewildered talmidim. He noticed their hesitation and asked them what was on their minds. They explained their
predicament - the awkward dilema of the need to daven mincha versus the inappropriateness of their garb.

Rabbi Steinberg eyed the sorry looking crew and exclaimed, "Not only are you worthy to enter the sanctuary, you deserve to sit at
the mizrach vant (eastern wall. considered the most prestigious seats), because you just returned from helping Acheinu Bnai Yisroel
(our Jewish bretheren) in their time of anguish.”


  1. My New Hashkafah of Shidduchim :-)

    My new hashkafah of shidduchim is thanking and praising HASHEM always :-)

    Even when my dating experiences are far from pleasant, I realize that HASHEM is guiding my life with His infinite wisdom and abundant love, and exact precision that only He is capable of :-)

    HASHEM always knows what is truly good for me, even when I do not :-)

    Often what I need most is atonement and humility, so G_d gives me those precious things through unpleasant dating experiences :-)

    I now realize that I must always thank HASHEM for ALL of my dating experiences, because even the worst dates are for my eternal benefit, because they provide me with precious atonement and humility :-)

    Tractate Avot teaches that the reward for a good deed is proportionate to its difficulty; by giving me difficult dating experiences, HASHEM is providing me with greater reward for Olam HaBa, in addition to precious atonement and humility :-)

    G_d loves me even more than I love myself, and He would never give me an unpleasant dating experience unless it was for my eternal benefit in both Olam HaZeh and Olam HaBa :-)


    Thank you for all my dating experiences, whether pleasant or unpleasant or mediocre :-)
    You are always guiding me with endless wisdom and love; You always help me and give me everything I need :-)

    I regret all the times I complained;
    instead of complaining, I should have been busy thanking You.

  2. that is truly beautiful, but other than that being the case also with the above story I'm not sure what it has to do with it. in any case H-shem should send your zivug at the right time and with ease. My husband always said this; that when you meet someone even if it was not meant to be your zivug there is a reason for it that we can't always understand. My take on it is similar to things I've heard from Rav Fischel Schachter's videos. When you get to a point where you are ready to give up and you keep going you see a yeshua. I feel that that is what happened to me when contemplating whether to date the person who became my husband. I was like, H-shem, I have no idea. If this is what you want, fine. If I hadn't been at that "low point" I might have easily said no. I'm glad I said yes :).