Thursday, April 3, 2014


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Metzora
4 Nissan 5774/April 4, 2014

Every Wednesday morning when I walk out of my home they’re waiting for me on my driveway: that week’s Hamodia and Jewish Press. Recently, my in laws gave us a gift and we also receive the Yated on Thursday mornings. So it seemed odd three weeks ago when we didn’t receive any of the usual deliveries. I figured it was just a fluke and so I bought the papers in the store and let it go. But when it happened again the following week I called all three papers. They were quick to reassure me that they would credit me and contact the delivery company. But last week to our chagrin, again no paper! It seems that 3 Landau Lane was blacklisted from the delivery route!
There are many things in life which we take for granted. We proverbially open our door and expect things to be there waiting for us, because they always are there. We forget that there are no guarantees in life, and sometimes G-d wants us to invest some effort.
When I finish delivering my derasha each Shabbos morning, I return to my shtender and wait for the chazzan to begin Mussaf. On more than one occasion, I returned to my place and awaited the chazzan’s commencement of kaddish, but heard nothing. After a few seconds I realized that I was in fact the chazzan (on one occasion that gabbai had to tap me to remind me). In that scenario waiting patiently wouldn’t get me anywhere. I was the one who had to make it happen, and until I took a step forward nothing was going to happen.
Chazal relate that 80% of the Jewish People never left Egypt. During the plague of darkness, all the Jews who were not prepared to emigrate from Egypt died and were buried there.
In truth, it is understandable why there were so many who didn’t want to leave. At that point the bitter servitude had ended months earlier. The Jews had become prosperous and could learn about their faith and establish Houses of Learning unopposed. Why should they subject their families to the uncertainties and perils of the open desert? Why not remain in Egypt and seek closeness to G-d where there was already an infrastructure and comfort?
That may have seemed logical, but those who thought along those lines could not be those who would accept the Torah at Sinai. One cannot wait for Torah to be delivered to his door in a neat little package. If one wants to truly embrace Torah he must be ready to sacrifice for it.
Shlomo Hamelech (Mishlei 2:4-5) wrote: “If you will seek it as you seek money, and search for it as you search for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of Hashem, and discover the knowledge of G-d.” The Chofetz Chaim commented that when one pursues his livelihood, he is not deterred by cold weather or lengthy hours, because he knows it is par for the course. If one wants to achieve greatness in spiritual matters he needs to maintain that same attitude.
In conclusion I must mention that now that I had what to write about this week, I’m happy to report that the weekly newspapers were lying on the driveway this morning.

               Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
               R’ Dani and Chani Staum  

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