Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Hoshana Rabbah – “Z’man Simchaseinu” 5775
21 Tishrei 5774/October 15, 2014
“So what are you doing today?”
“I’m not sure yet. We were thinking about the aquarium, but my big ones aren’t interested. So we were thinking about ice skating, but my little ones can’t do that. So I think we are just going to stay home and discuss what we should have done.”
Actually, the Staum family had a wonderful Chol Hamoed b’h, and enjoyed some nice family outings. On Monday we visited Argos Farm about a half hour from my in-law’s home in Lakewood.
When we first arrived the place was packed with people who had come, not for Chol Hamoed, but in honor of Columbus Day, if you get my drift. Many of them also came to pick out a mehudar pumpkin for their upcoming holiday. [I saw some that were big enough even according to the Chazon Ish shiurim.]
No sooner had we arrived when a misty rain began to steadily fall (it was a figment of our imagination because the weather report said there was only a 20% chance of rain). Nevertheless, we enjoyed the damp hay ride and corn maze.
Before we entered the corn maze the guide handed us a map with numbers for us to follow. We entered together, and it soon became clear that the numbers had gotten lost in the maze. There were none to be found. After a few more turns we lost my father-in-law.
At one point after a few dead ends one of our children suggested that we turn around and retrace our steps. I explained to him that we couldn’t go back the way we came because the whole idea was to find our way to the exit, not to go back where we came from, which we anyway wouldn’t be able to find
Mesillas Yesharim states that life is like a maze. There are many twists and turns and we have to stay true to the proper path without getting lost along the way.
            After the September 11th attacks, Rav Moshe Shapiro shlita noted that he was concerned that people were davening that things return back to the way they were, to what was familiar and comfortable.
            He explained that such a prayer is a big mistake! G-d guides the world along a specific trajectory and there are no mistakes. He has a plan and a mission for us. Whenever situations arise – for good or for better - we must accept that life will no longer be what it was. “Mir darfen zich tzushtelen tzu ratzon haBorei- We must connect to what G-d wants of us!”
            A corn maze is not quite as serious as the maze of life. But it was a great reminder of the fact that in life we must always proceed and try to connect with what G-d wants of us, not what we feel is best.  
            It was a great lesson, even though when we excitedly found our way back we realized that we were exiting at the entrance. We had come back to the beginning after all. But hey, why should I let our clumsiness ruin a perfectly good article?
            By the way, in case you were worried, we found my father-in-law afterwards. He was sitting by the entrance to the farm waiting for us.

A Git Kvitel- Good Yom Tov & Chag Sameiach,
            R’ Dani and Chani Staum      

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