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"Every man whose heart inspired him came; and everyone whose spirit motivated him brought the portion of Hashem for the work of the Tent of Meeting, for all its labor and for the sacred vestments" (Shemos 35:21).
The Ramban interprets the expression "everyone whose spirit motivated him" to refer to those who donated items for the construction of the Tabernacle. Whereas the expression "every man whose heart inspired him came" refers to those who volunteered to be the architects and builders of the Tabernacle and its vessels and utensils. He explains further that this "inspiration of the heart" indicates that although they had had no training in these very specialized fields, such as delicately designing gold and silver vessels, and all of the other fine arts which were involved in this project, they somehow sensed the inspiration to come forward. After having done so, they found, indeed, that they were able to do all that was required of them, since they had been blessed with Heavenly Assistance.
Today, the 23rd day of Adar, 5768, is the first yahrzeit of Rabbi Yisroel Grossman ztvk"l, father of Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman shlita, Chief Rabbi of Migdal Ha'Emek and Founder and Dean of Migdal Ohr. Last night, at a special gathering to remember him and his wonderful deeds, Rabbi Michel Zilber shlita used this explanation of the Ramban to describe how Rabbi Grossman always undertook things which he was not really able to do. Nevertheless, he felt this "inspiration of the heart" and came forward without questioning whether or not he could live up to the job. In this manner, he was granted an abundance of Heavenly Assistance, and he was successful in doing even that which he could not have done otherwise.
Among other things, whenever asked by someone for a favor, Rabbi Grossman would rush to do it. He was never heard to say, "I'm sorry, but it cannot be done," or, even, "I'm sorry, but I cannot do it." He simply rushed to help the person in need, and Hashem helped him fulfill his deep desire; no matter how difficult it actually was.
There have been lots of great people in the world. But many of them were not able to train their children to emulate them. One the things that make Rabbi Grossman special is that all of his many sons and daughters are dedicated to Torah, Torah observance, and helping their fellow Jews, just as he was.
The following story about Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman is an example (one of many) of how the children are going in the path of their father; may his memory be a blessing for all of us.
Nissim, a resident of Migdal Ha'Emek, had been very poor for all of his life. No matter how hard he worked or what new endeavor he tried, he just couldn't make ends meet and was not able to feed his family. One day, Nissim was offered a golden business opportunity. This venture would finally provide him with the means to live with honor; to walk with his head held high. But there was one major obstacle: Where could he get the investment money required?
"Wherever I turned," Nissim relates, "I got the same response: 'Sorry, I'm short of funds myself right now.' Even my best friends turned me down. I began to realize that they were only good friends for playing shesh-besh, but not when it really counted. I roamed the streets like a wild man, thinking to myself, Nissim, this is your chance of a lifetime and you're going to lose it because of a few rotten grushim (pennies)!
"And then someone said to me, 'Nissim, go and visit the Rabbi. He'll surely help you.' I replied, 'But I'm not religious. Why should the Rabbi want to help me? True I go to the synagogue on Yom Kippur and I celebrate the holidays, but otherwise I'm not observant. Rabbis only help the Orthodox.'
"'Nissim,' he persisted, 'Go to him. You'll see. He's a rabbi with a different style. Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman never refuses a favor to any Jew!'
"Well, I planted a kippah (skull cap) on my head and knocked on the Rabbi's door. Rabbi Grossman himself opened it, looked at me with his deep eyes and smiled. It was the warmest and most sincere smile I've ever received. 'Please come in,' he said. 'I can see you are suffering. Let's hear what your problem is.' I was amazed that he treated me with such honor, as if I were a worthy human being, even though he surely realized that I wasn't religious. Anyone could see that the kippah was just barely balancing on the hair of my head.
"The Rabbi asked me what was troubling me and I hesitated to tell him for I felt very uncomfortable, but as he made me feel more and more at ease, I finally managed to explain my situation to him. No sooner had I finished when Rabbi Grossman placed a phone call to someone, spoke to him for a few moments, and placed a quickly scribbled note in my hand, saying, 'Return the loan whenever you are able to.'
"Believe me, I paid the Rabbi back faster than I've ever paid anyone else; even the bank. And from that day on everything has gone well. My business is successful, and I support my family with honor. I no longer have to hear my children cry, 'Abba, (father) I'm hungry.'"
Pikudei"These are the reckonings of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle of Testimony, which were reckoned at Moshe's bidding" (Shemos 38:21).
The Sages explain that Moshe Rabbeinu offered to give the Israelites an itemized reckoning of exactly what he did with all of their contributions for the construction of the Tabernacle. The reason he did this, they tell us, is because he heard them murmuring among themselves that they suspect that he may have pocketed some of the funds for himself!
This may sound incredible to us, that they would have doubts about a man as holy and honest as Moshe, but the fact is that a suspecting character trait knows no bounds and one who is suspicious will distrust everyone; even the greatest of the great.
The Torah obliges us to give others the benefit of the doubt; but we rarely do. Many tragedies have resulted from unauthorized mistrust. The following story, recorded in one of the wonderful books of Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita, should teach us to be very careful before we accuse anyone without firm proof. And even if we find it extremely difficult not to suspect someone in our hearts, at least we should never act upon it unless we are absolutely sure.
Many years ago, the Principal of the Eitz Chaim Cheder (elementary school) in Jerusalem, Rabbi Nisan Tukotchinsky zt"l, noticed that one of the youngsters seemed to have more than the average amount of cash on hand. He would often buy expensive candies and cakes and generously offer them to his many friends.
The Principal called the boy into his office and asked him where he had so much money from. He hemmed and hawed that he 'found some" and "saved some" and other flimsy excuses. Consequently, the Rabbi asked the Mashgiach (guidance counselor), Rabbi Aryeh Levine ztvk"l, to talk with the student and try to ascertain the truth.
Reb Aryeh is famous for his genuine love of every single Jew, old or young, religious or non, and he spoke to the child in his usual gentle manner. First he showed him genuine affection and then he told him things that would make it easier for him to confess. "We all have a great Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) with regards to money. I am no exception. We all want it and we find excuses to legitimize our methods of getting it; even if they are not really acceptable. Don't be ashamed to tell me the truth. If you admit, on your own, how you have so much money, I promise that you won't be punished."
The boy sensed the real concern this wonderful person had for him and he confessed that he often raided his father's wallet and took change from it; probably subscribing to the common belief that taking money from parents without permission is not considered stealing. The Mashgiach explained the Torah's viewpoint and dismissed the lad with a kiss on his forehead. Then he reported to the Principal all that had transpired.
Rabbi Tukotchinsky called the boy's father to tell him that his son had a problem which he must deal with in a wise manner. (Note: Rabbi Ya'akov Kaminetsky ztvk"l once told me that he and his wife were always careful never to leave money within reach of the children so that they should not be tempted to steal. They always kept their cash in a locked drawer.) The Principal asked the father not to punish the boy since Reb Aryeh had promised him that if he confessed on his own he would not be punished.
To the Rabbi's great surprise, the father began to shout at him. "Are you out of your mind," he said. "You are accusing my son of being a ganav (thief)! My, holy tzaddik (saint)!. Have you ever noticed how fervently he prays and studies Torah? How he loves to do mitzvahs? He would never, in his life, steal from me or anyone else. You are accusing an innocent student and that is a terrible thing to do."
The shocked Principal realized that the father was totally in denial and invited him to come and meet with Rabbi Levine. When the father came to school they went together to speak with the Mashgiach and the Principal asked him to relate all that the man's son had told him. Reb Aryeh did, and, when he finished, the father fell to the floor and began crying hysterically, 'Woe is to me; I killed my mother-in-law!"
The alarmed Rabbis did not understand what was happening and tried to calm the father down, but he kept screaming, "I'm a common murderer. I killed my mother-in-law."
Reb Aryeh brought the man some water and finally succeeded in getting him off the floor and back into his chair. When the man stabilized a bit, he explained to the Rabbis what was bothering him.
"A while ago," he said, 'I began noticing that money was missing from my wallet on a regular basis. When this happened too often, I confronted my dear wife and told her what was happening. 'Who could possible be stealing from me?' I asked. 'It's out of the question to accuse our son, the tzaddik,' I argued. 'And I know that you are a wonderful wife who would never take anything or do anything without my consent. The only possible suspect is your mother, who lives with us! She is the obvious thief. Consequently, I insist that you find her a place in an old age home immediately!'
'You can well imagine how difficult it was for my wife to accept this decree, especially since her mother denied the charges out of hand. But I gave her an ultimatum: 'Either she leaves this house or I do!' My wife had no choice but to transfer her mother to a senior citizen's facility.
"The following day, her mother died!
"Now that you have revealed to me that my son admitted to the crime, I realize that I accused my mother-in-law unjustly and caused her to die prematurely. Woe is to me. What have I done? How will I ever be able to face my wife again?"
The two Rabbis were stunned. After several long, uncomfortable, minutes of silence, Reb Aryeh finally spoke compassionately. "The first thing you have to do," he said, "is to gather together a minyan (quorum) and visit the grave of your mother-in-law and beg forgiveness for accusing her falsely and for all that occurred as a result.
'In the meantime, I will speak with your wife and try to appease her so that your shalom bayis (home tranquility) may be restored."
The man did as he was told, but Reb Aryeh did not have an easy job persuading his wife to forgive him. However, the Rabbi persisted and, after speaking with her several times, he finally succeeded in making peace between the two of them.
A terrible price had been paid, to learn an incredibly important lesson: never jump to conclusions.
Shema Yisrael Torah Network