Author Topic: Parshas VaEschanan-And 15th of Av...  (Read 1436 times)

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Offline Lubab

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Parshas VaEschanan-And 15th of Av...
« on: July 27, 2007, 01:30:13 PM »
The Weekly Sedra - Parshas Va’eschanan - Signage

by Rabbi Yossi Gordon
Sholom Aleichem. The scene was right before a meal about 110 years ago. Rabbi Sholom Ber Schneersohn, the third Chabad Rebbe known as the Rashab, was washing for bread. He was meticulous in everything and ritual washing before bread was no exception. Suddenly, his younger brother Rabbi Menachem Mendel rushed in breathlessly.

“What a discovery!” exclaimed Rabbi Menachem Mendel, “Doctors in France have discovered a vein in the back of the human head. This vein can help one to concentrate or remember. When one leans forward this vein causes the blood to flow towards the part of the brain that aids concentration and helps one concentrate. When one leans back this vein causes blood to flow towards the memory part of the brain and helps one recall.”

The Rashab heard his brother out and did not react. After the meal was over and the Grace After Meals had been recited, the Rashab asked the people around the table to wait for him. He then left the room.

A few short minutes later, he returned carrying a book written by the Mittler Rebbe, Rabbi Dovber Schneersohn (1773-1827), the second Rebbe of Chabad. He opened the book and showed how in six or seven lines that very same “newly discovered” vein is mentioned, along with its amazing function.

Asked if this meant that Rabbi Dovber was knowledgeable about matters pertaining to health and human physiology as well, the Rebbe Rashab explained that all that is here in this physical world has its Supernal source. One can discover it here below and thereby know that it has a source Above. Or one can be aware of the Supernal source and thereby be aware of its manifestation here below. The Mittler Rebbe had the latter perspective.

In this Torah portion Parshas Vo’eschanan, we read about the cities of refuge that were built as a safe haven from revenge of the next of kin for one who had killed involuntarily, or for one accused of a capitol crime to wait safely for trial.

The physical city of refuge was built like any other city. But the roads to those cities were different. The roads to refuge were broader with clear markers. In case someone needed refuge, it would be easy to find.

Now, these cities and their directions have their Supernal source Above. How do they manifest themselves today when the Jewish People are in exile and we do not have the physical cities of refuge? The Rebbe explains:

One can become so discouraged and disheartened from the travails of this world. There has to be a place where good sense prevails, a place of refuge. Our holy Torah is our refuge. Its wisdom and understanding show how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Everyday actions like eating and interacting with others take on great meaning with the Torah’s direction. If one wants to really “trip” (vernacular for experiencing immense joy), one could simply lose oneself in the study of Torah and the performance of mitzvos.

But what about the directions? What is today’s relevance? The Rebbe continues: The roads to the cities of refuge had excellent signage to guide the traveler on his way. This work must now be carried out by every one of us. Everyone must serve as the signs pointing in the direction of good for others to follow.

A sign can stand outside for a long time and no one sees it, or seems to need it. And yet it stands there, at the ready, for years, sometimes. Similarly, one must not get discouraged if it seems as if there is no one to guide. Just by being a mensch and living and leading by example, we can make a great difference. Be a sign!!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!!

This Torah Thought is dedicated in loving memory of Schabse Noach ben Moshe z"l.

From the weekly emailer by Rabbi Yossi Gordon
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 01:34:14 PM by lubab »
"It is not upon you to finish the work, nor are you free to desist from it." Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot.