Thursday, July 7, 2016


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Korach
Pirkei Avos perek 4
2 Tamuz 5776/ July 8, 2016

Years ago, there was a time when my older brother was into learning and performing magic tricks. During that time, on one occasion my parents took our family to a magic store. The owner showed us all sorts of interesting tricks and gadgets. At one point he turned to my father and said “Would you like to see my pride and joy?” Not wanting to be rude my father replied affirmatively. The owner than produced a picture of two bottles - the cleansing agents Pride and Joy.
In days of old people used to keep pictures in their wallets of those nearest and dearest to them. Then along came cell phones and rendered those wallet pictures basically obsolete. I still have the same wallet that I have been using since we got married and the same pictures of our children from years ago.
Perhaps it may be somewhat of a heretical question, but supposing G-d had a wallet, whose picture would be in it? Who could be deemed the "Pride and Joy" of the Master of the world, as it were?
We state the answer every morning at the beginning of Pesukei D'zimrah when we declare "al Yisroel ga'avaso - for Yisroel His pride". Every one of us, simply by virtue of the fact that we are card-carrying members of Klal Yisroel are Hashem's ultimate pride. That undoubtedly carries with it a tremendous burden and sense of responsibility, for we must live up to that encomium. At the same time however, it is a source of great encouragement and chizuk. When we daven we are not merely davening to the Supreme Power and Creator of the world. We are also davening to our divine Father who loves us and takes great pride in our service to Him.
The ba'alei mussar note that when one davens, he should do so with the feeling that he is presenting his requests and needs before the only being who truly possesses the ability to fulfill his petitions.
Thus if our prayers are not fulfilled we need to remind ourselves that it is not because our prayers have not been heard. After all, what loving parent does not listen to the pleas of his child? Rather it's because our loving father knows what is really best, even when it does not seem that way to us.
As the month of Tamuz begins and the weeks of mourning approach, it behooves us to bear in mind this idea. We are His joy and pride, and to view all that has occurred and does occur to us is in that context. After all, we are His pride and joy!

 Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,

      R’ Dani and Chani Staum