Wide World Of Torah
"Rabbi Weiss, I just stopped in to say goodbye."
"Where are you going Mr. Katz?"
"On vacation for a few weeks. My wife and I are going to China."
"That sounds fascinating, Mr. Katz. Are to planning to visit the Great Wall?"
"Yes, Rabbi Weiss."
"Enjoy yourselves. Please tell me all about your trip when you return. I will be here in the Beis HaMedrash learning Torah B'ezras Hashem (With Hashem's help)."
"Thank you. Rabbi Weiss, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?"
"Not at all."
"Have you ever traveled the world and seen the great sights? The Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, The Himalayan Mountains, the African rainforests, or the Swiss Alps?"
"I'm afraid I haven't Mr. Katz."
"Why not, Rabbi? There's a whole big world out there to see and enjoy."
"Mr. Katz, believe it or not, one of my neighbors asked me the same question a few days ago."
"What did you say to him, Rabbi Weiss?"
"I asked what he knew about interest rates and property investment. Did he ever examine marriage laws and customs? Did he know how to properly care for widows and orphans? Did he understand how much charity to give, and how much food to eat? Did he know how to examine the internal organs of a kosher animal? How should two partners dissolve a partnership? When does a squatter have rights to the land he is living on? Does he understand the difference between the holiness of Shabbos and Yom Kippur? When does life begin, and when does it end?"
"Rabbi Weiss, these subjects contain worlds of knowledge."
"That is exactly the point, Mr. Katz. There are worlds and worlds of Torah to understand and learn. Each sugya (subject) is more beautiful than the Swiss Alps, more intricate than a microchip, and more alive than a rain forest. It is Divine knowledge, here on earth."
"Mr. Katz, I can offer you a world-wide tour that will take your breath away. Right here in the Beis HaMedrash."
"Where do I begin, Rabbi Weiss?"
"Right here. 'Eiloo metzios shelo' (These are the lost objects that you can keep)," (Bava Metzia 21a).
Kinderlach . . .
This week's parsha speaks about the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark). It contained the Luchos (Tablets) and it represented Torah learning. The Torah is the most fascinating thing you will ever see in your life. Learning it is life's greatest pleasure. Take a whirlwind tour of all the Torah "sites". Open up your gemora and keeps your eyes and mind focused. You don't want to miss a single detail!
"Okay, Let's fire this baby up!"
The foreman hit the switch and the wheels slowly began to turn. The huge steam powered loom swung into action. The needles whirred back and forth and the fabric began to roll.
"How does it look Mr. Stein?"
The wealth owner of the factory smiled.
"The machine is running very well, Joe. When will it reach full speed?"
"In about half an hour, Mr. Stein."
"Have you connected the special control valve yet, Joe?"
"Not yet Mr. Stein. Can you explain its operation to me again?"
The factory owner stroked his beard, adjusted his kippa and began to speak.
"This machine is producing fabric for sale and profit. Do you see that building next to the factory? That is a Beis HaMedrash where young scholars are learning Torah day and night. This machine will provide the income to support them and their families. If it is running at full speed, it will produce enough profits for them to live a very comfortable life. There is one catch, however."
"The special control valve?"
"Right. It regulates the speed of the machine. This valve is sensitive to the Torah learning of the young scholars. The more they learn, the wider the valve opens, and the faster the machine runs. However, if they slack off in their learning, the machine will slow down, and their income will dwindle."
"That is brilliant, Mr. Stein."
The Malbim (on Bereshis 2:1) uses this parable to explain the operation of the world. Hashem set up the laws of nature to provide sustenance for the world. They are like the machine. However, there is free will, reward and punishment. Man's deeds direct the laws of nature, just as the special control valve guides the machine. Where is this valve located? In the Shabbos. That is the day when Hashem evaluates the world, based on the deeds of man, and determines how fast the machine should be running.
The Lechem HaPanim (Show Bread) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle) represented sustenance for the world. Hashem commanded that it be placed on the Shulchan (Table) just once a week. Shabbos. The Holy Day that influences the whole week. Shabbos keeps the world going. It is the source of all blessing.
Kinderlach . . .
At the beginning of Shabbos, we sing the beautiful song, "Lecha Dodi". "Come let us go greet Shabbos, for it is the source of blessing." All of the goodness that Hashem bestows upon this earth comes via the Shabbos. Therefore, we see how important this mitzvah is. Let us all do our part to strengthen and deepen our Shabbos observance. Try to be ready for Shabbos early. That way, when candle lighting time arrives, we can be relaxed and refreshed, ready to welcome the Shabbos Queen. Show Hashem how much we love His Shabbos. And He will shower us with blessing.
Kinder Torah Copyright 2003 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
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