ALONE BUT NEVER UNATTENDED | BY HARAV Y. REUVEN RUBIN

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ALONE BUT NEVER UNATTENDED

BY HARAV Y. REUVEN RUBIN

Shevuos alone, who would have thought?

Na’aseh V’nishmah, we will do and we will listen, all Bnei Yisroel together, with one cry, one resolve. It’s what we have counted towards all these weeks, the glory of celebration of Jewish unity. And now we sing alone, still isolated from our heartfelt hopes.

We all carry lofty memories of all night Torah vigils, early sleepy prayers and all too much cheese cake. The warmth of togetherness, the smiles of thanks given freely to mothers who had baked and prepared all those meals.

In kapitel ninety-two of Tehillim we find some positive insight.

“To relate Your loving-kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness in the nights.”

The usual explanation of this verse is that “morning” symbolises the times when things are bright and the sun shines upon Klall Yisroel as a nation.  Then it is easy and only proper that we publicly relate Hashem’s many kindnesses. At “night,” when the world seems dark and we feel distraught, then we must live on our faith.

In the midst of the churban of the Warsaw ghetto, the saintly Alexander Rebbe, Zt”l, delivered to his Chassidim an astoundingly inspiring message.

“The verse says emunascha, ‘Your faithfulness,’ rather than emunasi, ‘My belief in You.’

It’s not a Yid’s belief in Hashem that gives life at ‘night’ it’s the way Hashem believes in us that gives us vibrancy. When the night is so dark and endless, what keeps us alive is remembering how much Hashem believes in us. Hashem believes that we will bring the coming day.”

I must admit that when I first saw these words, my heart gave a leap. Here was a saintly tzadik in the midst of a yawning abyss, crying out for Yidden to remain strong because Hashem has faith in us! What strength, what emotional power!

We may feel we are all languishing behind closed doors, far from Hashem and chaverim. Yet the Rebbe’s message beckons, Hashem has faith in us, The Eibishter knows what we are going through, and with every added seed of our faith, Hashem draws ever closer.

The Peasetzna Rebbe Zt”l writes in his personal spiritual journal (Tzav V’ziruz) the following:

“It is much easier to devote many years to diligent learning and even engage in maximum self-denial than it is to devote one day of your life to serve Hashem honestly, sincerely, and properly even according to your own understanding. But who do we think we are and what great service would we do in this one day,  “even according to our own understanding,” that such an undertaking seems so overwhelming?

Still, this is no cause for despair or even to be lax. On the contrary: this best service that we can do for today, this is our unique life work. And the effort we put in, together with our yearning for higher, is the aim of our life work. Let us devote these to our Creator.”

Alone? Never! Each day brings its tailor made gifts of challenge.

Can’t attend Shul on Shevuos? Well perhaps it is time for you to accept the Torah with the honesty of your entirety. This Shevuos will be the one where there are no distractions, no pressures from without. It is the moment when your heart can be open to your inner soul and its attachment to Hashem.

And if you feel you don’t have it in you, or that you’re too far from such a feat, listen to the Hieliga Alexander Rebbe’s words, “It’s not a Yid’s belief in Hashem that gives life at ‘night.’ It’s the way Hashem believes in us that gives us vibrancy.” By the Eibishter, your neshoma shines, despite the lockdown, beyond the loneliness, the fire is alive within you. Be strong sweet Yidden, we can do this. We can accept the Torah at the Har Sinai that hovers in our heart.

A Gadol from “Old “ Yerusholayim was once walking near a park and saw a youngster standing by a tree in floods of tears. The Rav went over to him, “what’s your name Yingela?’ ‘Moishe’le’ sobbed the child. ‘What’s wrong?’ The sweet neshomala explained that he was playing ‘horse and rider’ with his friend. The Rav asked what sort of game is that? ‘Well one of us plays the horse, and the other plays the rider. I am the horse and my friend Yanky is the rider.’ ‘So?’ ‘Well Yanky went away and left me tied to the tree and like a horse. I can’t leave.’ ‘Well let me untie you,’ chuckled the Rav, he went behind the tree and saw that the child wasn’t tied up at all, ‘Young man, you’re not tied to the tree, just go home.’  ‘How can I?’  Answered the child, ‘I am playing the part of the horse, and therefore I can’t just leave, a horse has to stay where he is tied up to, and isn’t permitted to leave.’

Sighed the elderly Rav, ‘oy! oy!, if we insist on being horses, then we are takeh tied to being just that.’

In life we have to sometimes choose not to play the part of the horse, there is nothing tying us down, we must take control of who we are, despite being ‘tied to this world’.

This is the Shevuos where we can open the knots that bind us, and take grasp onto Hashem’s loving faith in each of us.

We will soon be zoche to great nissim, Hashem has never turned from His children. We are being readied for that greatness, so let us be ‘mekable’ the Torah this year with the true essence of who we are and in this way bring the Yeshuah that much closer.

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