Thursday, April 26, 2018



Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Acharei- Kedoshim –Avos Perek 3
12 Iyar 5778/April 27, 2018

For those of us living on the East Coast, it’s been a long and harsh winter. Ironically, this was the first time in a few years that we had relatively pleasant fifty-degree weather on Purim. Being that it is a pre-leap year and Purim was on March 1st, it was welcomed and appreciated. But as soon as Purim ended, the weather dropped precipitously, heralding in a Shushan Purim snow storm. That was followed with a few more March snow storms and generally cold weather. This year March came like a lion and left the same way. Even on Pesach it was cold and snowy.
This week, the sun has finally returned from Florida. We are all hoping it will stay a while. Still, we are holding our breath, hoping it doesn’t snow on Shavuos or Tisha B’Av.
In Eretz Yisroel, the special beracha recited once a year on the blooming of the trees was recited weeks ago. I saw pictures of great rabbis standing in front of beautiful trees under the bright Yerushalayim sun reciting the blessing before Pesach.
Meanwhile here in New York, we are still unable to recite it as of yet. 
This week, we have seen the first hints of spring, including the welcomed buzzing of bees and insects, chirping birds, and some color returning to the still nascent trees.
Someone at our Shabbos table asked this week if the lengthy duration of winter is any indication that it will be a particularly cool summer. The response was that it is not an indication at all. In fact, it is likely that during a scorching July day we will hardly remember our desperation to see the sun in late April.
As adults, we all have experienced great surprises about how life turned out for people we knew in our youth. Often that person may even be ourselves.
During our formative years we make assumptions about who will be successful later in life. Many school yearbooks contain articles predicting the future of the graduates. At times they are accurate, but often they are not. The only predictable thing about life is life’s unpredictability.
So often, those we thought had little chance of making something of themselves defy all predictions. 
I once heard a beautiful statement: “all children have gifts; some open them later than others”. The great parent and educator is one who sees the child not as he/she is, but for who he/she can become. That requires vision and foresight, and at times even a bit of imagination.
It’s hard to envision budding trees and flowers in the dead of the winter. But we all know that it will happen. We just have to have the patience to wait for it. We need to have that perspective with our children as well. We need to daven for patience and for the wisdom to see the greatness within, even if it hasn’t blossomed just yet.

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