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Opening Our Hearts

Thousands of people have been streaming into my building since Motzaei Shabbos to console the Lifshitz family who is mourning for their son Yochai HY"D who was murdered in the massacre in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav on Thursday night.

Wow! It is so touching to see how much people care. People are not faking it, their hearts really go out to this family who has suffered such a painful loss. I don't know why Hashem allowed this to happen. But one thing is for sure. NOTHING, NOTHING, brings Jews together like a tragedy. When things are going well people don't seem to care as much. There are many places in Chazal where we are taught that all G-d wants is that WE CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER. That is what tragedy accomplishes. Achdus - Unity. How sad that we can't muster the same amount of care and concern on a daily basis.

Everybody lacks something. Everybody enjoys loving and being loved. There is SO much that we can share with others. Do an exercise. Make a list of people who you believe really feel empathy for you, how many people would do ANYTHING for you, how many people lose sleep at night over YOUR problems [outside of your immediate family]. If there are three or more people on the list, consider yourself like an undercooked piece of meat - rare.

Of course, our job is not to judge others, but to perfect ourselves. So here goes:

Example 1: I often hear from single people who are dying to get married that their married friends DON'T CARE. They are too busy to set them up. Sometimes a suggestion is made and the single person waits anxiously for weeks until the married person gets back to them. When their patience runs thin they finally call themselves only to find out that "Oh, I forgot." Did you forget, dear married person, about your single status back when you were alone? Love your neighbor as you love YOURSELF. KAMOCHA! Kamocha mamesh! There are many people who are alone and it is likely that we can help them. It just takes effort.

Example 2: Money. I cannot understand! I am thick! There are soooooo many Jews who are fabulously wealthy. Loaded!!! There are soooo many other Jews who are destitute. People don't have enough money to cover their basic needs. Shoes, groceries, dental work etc. How does a Jew with a feeling heart go to sleep at night knowing that he has so much more than he needs in the bank while others are so desperately in need. And Jews have feeling hearts. That is for sure.

Come to 5 Ohr Hachaim Street in the Old City and watch how pure hearted Jews cry over the loss of a complete stranger. If we can care about a complete stranger and his suffering family we can certainly care for the people we know. People aren't "too busy" to make a shiva call. Why then, are we "too busy" to do a favor for a friend or even for our own parents or children. If we want to make a mourner feel good, why don't we also strive to make a stranger feel good by simply saying "Hello", "Welcome to our shul" "Good Morning" - add a smile and you have a recipe for true Jewish virtue.

Don't only kiss a Sefer Torah. Kiss a Yid. He is much holier.

We should know no more sorrow!!!

Love and blessings

Elchanan ben Henna Miraim

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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