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Weekly Chizuk

Parshas Naso

Your Real Friends

Everyone's holy things shall belong to him; whatever a man gives to the kohen shall be his. (Bemidbar 5:10)

Adapted from Chofetz Chaim on the Torah

This possuk is hinting at one of the most important principles which each and every one of us must remember every minute of our lives: our only real belongings are the fruit of our spiritual efforts. The "holy things" that we accomplish - Torah, Mitzvos, Tefilla - they are our eternal possessions. They accompany us throughout our lives and after we pass on. The only things we really have are our "holy things." Our Yetzer Hora" and his gang appear like friends. They join us throughout our life like our good pal and buddy. But when the going gets tough, they suddenly disappear.

The Medrash relates that there was once a fellow who had three friends. Reuven, Shimon and Levy. Reuven was his closest companion whom he loved very dearly. Shimon, he considered a very dear friend, though not as close as Reuven. Then there was Levy. He was merely an acquaintance with whom he met occasionally.

Then it happened. He received a summons from the Palace. It was a very vague letter, and it spelled trouble. He was very worried. Maybe someone had informed on him. In the country where he lived, people had never returned from such summonses. He was worried sick and decided he needed help.

First he went to Reuven, his best friend, in whom he put all his trust. Maybe he has some pull with the authorities. He went to Reuven's house and poured out all his fears. But Reuven turned a cold shoulder and refused to help him. He left even more despondent than when he came.

Next he went to Shimon and explained what was happening. Shimon told him, "Don't worry I'll go with you. When they take you into the interrogation room, I'll be waiting outside." Oy vey. That's all?! You're no help.

Finally, out of desperation, he went to Levy. He didn't put much hope in him, especially after being given the cold shoulder by his best friends. But he was desperate and ready to clutch at any straw.

"Don't worry," Levy assured him. I'm going with you and I'll pull all the strings I can. I have a lot of connections with them, and I'm sure I'll get you off the hook. Relax. Nothing is going to happen to you." Levy took care of the whole case and saved his life.

Reuven is a moshol for one's best friend: his money. That's what he loves most. But when one passes on to the next world it all remains behind. He can't take any of it with him.

Shimon is a moshol for one's children and relatives. They accompany him to the grave site and cry over him. But once they put the last shovel of dirt over the casket, they, too, take leave and depart.

Levy who had all the connections to get him off the hook and save him is a moshol for Teshuva and Mitvos. They accompany the person after he dies and defend him in front of the Heavenly court.

The summons will eventually come from Hakadosh Baruch Hu, the King of Kings. In His court there is no favoritism or bribery. The only way a person can save himself is through Torah and good deeds.

The most trusted friends you have are your "Holy Things." They will always accompany you. They are your real friends. They love you, and will testify for you and vouch for you in front of the Heavenly Court. You must gather as many of these good friends as you can during your life and partake of their company all the time. They are your eternal friends.

The possuk ends off, "whatever a man gives to the kohen shall be his." After a person passes on, nothing is left of all the money he acquired during his lifetime. The only thing he can take with him is the tzedaka and chessed he performed. This is his only true possession. "Whatever he gives the kohen is his." This is his only real bank account.

Wishing everyone a Gut Shabbos!

Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff
4 Panim Meirot, Jerusalem 94423 Israel
Tel: 732-858-1257
Rabbi Parkoff is author of "Chizuk!" and "Trust Me!" (Feldheim Publishers), and "Mission Possible!" (Israel Book Shop Lakewood).
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