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From
Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Pikudei

Who's Counting?

"Do you have everything that you will need?"

"I'm not sure. Let's go through the checklist again."

Slowly they went down the list together, checking off every item.

"Everything is in order. You are now ready to leave on your mission. Remember, when you are finished you will have to return back here and give an accounting of everything that you were given to use on your mission."

"I understand."

"You should have much success. May Hashem be with you."

He made his way down the narrow tunnel until he was out of sight. When he reached the other end of the tunnel, two hands gently pulled him out.

"Mazel tov! Mazel tov! Your wife has just given birth to a baby boy."

* * *

"These are the accounts of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)" (Shemos 38:21). The Torah proceeds to give an exact accounting of all the gold, silver, and copper that was used in the building of the Mishkan. Why was this accounting necessary? Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l answers that the Torah is teaching us a very important lesson. A person must give an accounting of everything that Hashem has given to him. What did he do with the precious time that Hashem gave him on this earth? Did he learn Torah and do mitzvos? Or did he waste his time on frivolities. What did he do with the livelihood that Hashem gave him? Did he give tsedaka? Was he blessed with good health? Intelligence? Skills? What did he do with all of these gifts? A person should not think that he can do whatever he pleases. He will have to give an accounting for everything.

Kinderlach . . .

We are on a mission called life. Hashem gave us many things to use on this mission. He has a checklist of everything. He wants the best for us, therefore, He gave us the Torah which instructs us how to use everything. When we follow its instructions we will be the best that we can be. Did you learn well today? Or did you waste your time spent in school. Did you thank Imma for preparing a delicious meal for you? Or did you let the opportunity to express your gratitude slip by. Did you give tsedaka to the poor man who was collecting? Did you eat good healthy food that will make you stronger and healthier? Or did you waste your appetite on junk food. Hashem is keeping count of everything that you do. He wants you to give a good accounting. This will earn something very special for you . . . a good name.

Put Away the Books

"Good morning my wonderful chavrusa Chaim!"

"Good morning, Simcha. I'm sorry that I'm late this morning."

"No problem, Chaim. Is everything okay?"

"Boruch Hashem, Simcha. It just took me five minutes to find a gemora."

"Did you look in the bookcase in the back of the Beis HaMedrash?"

"Yes I did. All of the volumes of Bava Kamma were missing from the shelves. I began to look around on the shtenders. After five minutes I finally found a Bava Kamma."

"I see. Okay, let's begin. 'There are four main categories of damages...'"

The two chavrusas learn strongly for a short while. Then they come to a passage that is difficult to understand.

"We seem to be stuck. Let's look in the Rishonim to see how they explain the Gemora. I'll get a Ritva and Rashba; you get a Meiri and Ramban."

After ten minutes of searching the bookshelves and the shtenders, Chaim and Simcha return to their seats.

"I could only find a Ritva, not a Rashba."

"You did better than I did, Chaim. I was not able to find anything. What is going on here?"

Just then, Chaim and Simcha see two chavrusas getting up from their seats, bidding each other goodbye, and walking out of the Beis HaMedrash. Piled up on the shtender next to them are eight sefarim that they were using.

"I see what is happening, Chaim. People are removing sefarim from the shelves and not returning them when they are finished."

"How can that be? There is a large sign in the back of the Beis HaMedrash stating that failure to return sefarim constitutes stealing."

"How true. We have spent a total of twenty-five minutes looking for sefarim. Time is the most precious commodity in the world. Money comes and goes. Lost objects can be replaced. Lost time is irreplaceable."

"So true. Especially time that we should have used to learn Torah. Who is responsible for those twenty-five minutes of bitul (idleness from) Torah? The ones who carelessly left out the sefarim."

"Oy va voy."

"These are the accounts of the Mishkan (Tabernacle)" (Shemos 38:21). The Torah proceeds to give an exact accounting of all the gold, silver, and copper that was used in the building of the Mishkan. Why was this accounting necessary? Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that the Torah is teaching us a very important lesson. A person must ultimately give an accounting of everything that Hashem has given to him. What did he do with the precious time that Hashem gave him on this earth? Did he learn Torah and do mitzvos? Or did he waste time chas v'shalom (Heaven forbid). This is a very important cheshbon (accounting). However, it is only one part of the cheshbon. There is another more subtle part. What did a person do with other people's time? Did he help them save time? Giving someone a ride in your car, running an errand for him, or bringing him something that he needs are all good ways to help another save time. These acts of chessed will be a big zechus (merit) on your time cheshbon. On the other hand, one can waste someone else's time. Taking out sefarim and not putting them back wastes other people's time. It wastes the most valuable time - time in the Beis HaMedrash, dedicated to Torah learning. Don't do it! Consider other people! Consider yourself! Save time and earn zechuyos!

Kinderlach . . .

Don't waste your own time! Don't waste other people's time! Put away sefarim when you are done with them. This is such a simple and easy thing to do. It takes hardly a minute. What a great investment! For a minute of your time, you can earn a zechus. If you don't take that minute, you stand the chance of running up a big chov (debt). You may be responsible for wasting minutes, and even hours of other people's time. Is it worth it? Make the accounting yourself. Keep your accounting books free of debt. Put away the books.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2011 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman


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