Thursday, March 19, 2015

PARSHAS VAYIKRA/Hachodesh 5775

Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Vayikra/Hachodesh
Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1 Nissan 5775/ March 20, 2015

Federal officials say the number of laser incidents in the US being pointed at aircrafts jumped from 311 in 2005 to almost 4,000 in 2014.
On March 10, 2015, the FAA said it received four reports from commercial pilots landing or taking off at LaGuardia airport of lasers pointed in their direction. The pilots were temporarily blinded by the light, and after they landed were treated at local hospitals. A police helicopter was dispatched to circle the area. When a laser was pointed at them they traced it to its source – a Bronx apartment. They soon arrested the perpetrator, Mr. Frank Egan.
How often do we become discouraged with ourselves and our accomplishments? How often do we wonder what our tefillos really are worth, why it matters if we learn more Torah, and if anyone cares about the chesed we do?
Perhaps Frank Egan didn’t realize the true danger of what he was doing. Or perhaps he did realize it but was so enamored with the thrill of being able to have an impact on a plane flying thousands of feet above his bedroom that he didn’t think about the repercussions of his actions.
It is not hyperbole to say that each of us carries a laser with us. Every time we perform a mitzvah, daven, or learn Torah we are creating a massive beam of light which connects our soul with its eternal source. 
Rav Tzadok Hakohain writes “Just as a person needs to believe in Hashem, so too afterwards he needs to believe in himself.” If we realize the power we yield we would be much more careful about wasting opportunities that abound around us. But alas, we don’t believe we can truly have an impact, and we don’t fully appreciate the potential we have.
In the tefillah Elokai Netzor prayer recited as the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei, many add a prayer which includes a petition that G-d help “that I not become angry today, and that I do not anger You.”
The vernacular of the prayer itself reveals an astounding concept: We have the ability to anger G-d, as it were. Surely none of us wish to do so, but if we can anger G-d, then we surely have the ability to bring Him nachas too. In fact, this idea is expressed in the gemara (Berachos 17a) “Rabbi Yochanan… said: Praised is the man whose growth is in Torah and his toil is in Torah, and he grants nachas ruach (“pleasure of spirit”) to his creator.”
Apparently we are far more influential than we give ourselves credit for.
We better be careful we point our laser.

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

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