Thursday, July 4, 2013


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Matos-Masei
Mevorchim Chodesh Menachem Av – Shabbos Chazak!
27 Tammuz 5773/July, 2013
Pirkei Avos – perek 2

This past Shabbos in Camp Dora Golding, just as everyone was getting ready to head up to shul for Kabbolas Shabbos, it started to rain. By the time I arrived at shul, even my raincoat was saturated. Worse, my socks were drenched and remained that way for a few hours. It was particularly uncomfortable to be dressed in a suit and Shabbos finery and yet to be all wet.
Rav Shimshon Pinkus zt’l noted that we don’t wear Shabbos finery for others, but rather for the honor of Shabbos, which is a pseudonym for Hashem. Therefore, even if one is alone, or if G-d forbid, one is ill, he should still don Shabbos clothes, despite the fact that no one else will see him.   
The same holds true in regards to tefillah. Sometimes it is quite uncomfortable to don my jacket and hat for davening when it’s hot and humid. In fact, I know that I would probably daven with more kavanah if I was more comfortable without the extra clothing. But serving Hashem isn’t always about doing what makes us feel good. Rather, it’s about showing honor to Hashem, and fulfilling His Will.
Similarly, observing the laws of the Three Weeks may not make us feel holy and elevated. Surely then the austere laws of Tisha B’av, with all of its restrictions, not to mention sitting on the floor, may not give us that deep spiritual feeling which helps us feel connected from an uplifting ‘Shabbos experience’. Nevertheless, we adhere to the dictates of halacha because that is our duty, not necessarily because it makes us feel good (though doing the right thing ultimately grants a sense of fulfillment).
We may have many ideas of what would constitute feeling spiritual and holy. But our job is “m’daff tuhn fahr der Ribbono Shel Olam”. We do as the Torah and our Sages have dictated, all of our ideas notwithstanding.
Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
    R’ Dani and Chani Staum

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