The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

There and Back Again

Today Meir Stambler had the Israeli Ambassidor come in to Yeshiva for a special Mi Shaberach (prayer) for Ariel Sharon. The press came (k'muvin when it comes to the Stamblers) and snapped away at us davening shachris
ictures taken by AP
numbers 33, 34, 48, 39, 50, 51 are of us.

It also came to my attention a certain article written by an offical branch of the Reform movement, bellow is my response.

To whom it may concern,

I happened upon the following article from you website (
and was shocked to see what was written there.
"Sadly on this occasion, too, there are already rabbis on the margins of the Orthodox rabbinical establishment who have spoken up without any semblance of honor, humility, or respect. These rabbis called upon their followers not to pray for the health of the Prime Minister because he authorized the disengagement plan. These rabbis bared the ugly face of religious zealotry. Reform Judaism in Israel has for many years struggled with the serious phenomena of rabbis who receive their salary from the state's coffers, yet who incite against state leaders and elected officials. We hope that the Israeli public will recognize the seriousness of these phenomena and will join Reform Judaism in its struggle with the divisive zealotry of the Israeli religious establishment."
Besides being a cruel and intolerant statement, one which swaths a large group of Orthodox Jews -Jews who pray for the speedy recover of Prime minister Sharon- in a unfavourable light, to openly attack a fellow Jew (and how much more a large group of Jews), regardless of his or her affiliation and background, is "without any semblance of honor, humility, or respect", and the variable opposite of the love and acts of goodness and kindness that are so needed during this critical time.
Please in the future stress what brings us together, not what drives us apart, by stressing Ahavat Yisroel and Ahavat Habriot -a principle held to be of equal importance to all Jews.

-Mordechai Lightstone

A Few Thoughts:
There And Back Again:
On the road to Druskininkai I got to thinking . . .
Here I was, taking a 90 minute ride to "there" . . . only to turn around and go "back again"
These few words (which if you know where there from, then that's well and fine for you) brought out an interesting concept when it comes to serving Hashem in general and Tshuva specificaly.
When we first confront an obsticlethe goal seems to be "there" so far . . . so daunting. Yet upon reaching it, making the full journey (in my case returning to Vilna) then one realizes that he hasn't truly gone
"There" to some far off place, but in reality has only come back (again) returned to his source. Tshuva (often trasnlated as repentence) means to return. That is, when we've finaly made it truly there . . . we see that all we've done is gone back again to our true home.
True Shlichus:
While still in Druskininkai Mendy Krinsky asked me to play a few niggunim (songs) for him on my clarinet. One of the nugginim he asked me to play was the tune to Birchas Kohanim (The preistly blessing, said daily by the cantor, but song by the Kohanim only on the three festivals of Pesach, Shevuos and Sukos) I found it an odd choice for a song to play, so I aksed him why he was interested in hearing it.
"Oh," he told me. "I've never realy heard it before. I think I know the whole tune -but I'm not sure."
It struck me then what it truly means to go on shlichus . . .
We all no that to go on shlichus means to give up certain things that we take for granted . . . (to the non Lubavs (I mean 'snags -but for those of you who don't like the term I've refrained from using it) it means giving up ice cream -but that b'chlal is not giving up that much)
It's not that not hearing birchas kohanim is the big sacrafice that struck me, rather that here is a tune that we take so for granted, that comes so natural to us that we most likely don't think twice about it . . . and even that is "given up."
Yet as the Rabbi (Krinsky that is if you didn't read my previous post) said,
"There are going to be hard things no matter what happens in life, we all have to give things up . . . so if you're going to have to deal with these things anyhow -why not choose the best job there is in the world . . . doing the Rebbe's work!