A Thought for the Week
When I was a young Yeshiva bochur I was impressed with
intelligence. I looked at the Gedolim and was in awe of their intellect. They seemed to
know everything. Now, as I get older Im less impressed with intellect and much more
taken with their kindness. People tell me stories about how much this Rav knows and what
kind of miracles their Rebbe can perform. It is interesting, but, when I hear a story
about a Rebbe that went out of his way to help a fellow Jew in spite of his difficult
schedule and often ill health, that is where Im taken, thats where Im
sending my kvitlach.
He sent his servant Eliezer traveling to look for a
mate. He blessed him and promised him that G-d will perform miracles to help him. Eliezer
arrived at Aram Naharayim and spoke to G-d. I will find a wife for Yitzchok by the
well he said. Sure enough, Eliezer stood by the well and behold a beautiful young
lady from exactly the right family is standing by the well. Wild! Her charm pours out and
Eliezer immediately develops a wonderful feeling about her and a miracle happens, instead
of Rivka raising the barrel of water from the well, the water automatically raised to her.
Bashert! Eliezer hit the jackpot. Here was the Kalla exactly as G-d said, exactly where
Eliezer stipulated, exactly as Abraham wanted and exactly as was right for Yitzchok. She
was right, she was beautiful, and a miracle occurred which showed that Rivka with her
spirituality mastered over the physical, so she was holy too
what else is there?
Two of my favorite Gedolim of the last generation met.
The Rogatchover Gaon was a young man and he traveled to the great Rav Tzadok HaCohen of
Lublin. They discussed Talmudic topic after topic on a level impossible to imagine. Before
the Rogatchover left, Reb Tzadok told him, You are a great genius, perhaps the
greatest in the upcoming generation. I too was considered a prodigy but I eventually
learned that scholastic abilities are wonderful but real greatness lies in a lev
tov. The Rogathover reported that that statement changed his life.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber
Rabbi Haber is the OU's National Director of Jewish Education and the spiritual leader of the OU's Pardes Program
Comments and questions are very welcome
"A tree of life for those who embrace it"