Thursday, February 11, 2021

Parshas Mishpatim 5781

 

 “RABBI’S MUSINGS (& AMUSINGS)”

Erev Shabbos Kodesh parshas Mishpatim

Rosh Chodesh Adar/ Parshas Shekalim

30 Shevat 5781/February 12, 2021

משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

 

To be added to my “Striving Higher” WhatsApp chat with periodic chizuk clips, or my “Power Parenting” WhatsApp chat with weekly ideas about parenting, text me at 845-641-5094.

KEYS ANYONE?

            This past Friday, our Shabbos guest pulled up in front of our house an hour and a half before Shabbos. He parked a bit awkwardly in the street because of the high mounds of snow pushed to the side of the road. He shut the car and came into the house carrying a bunch of bags. When he went back out to park the car for Shabbos, he realized that he didn’t have the key. It’s a remote key, so it doesn’t get inserted into the ignition. As long as the key is somewhere in the car, the car will start. The fact that the car wasn’t starting meant that the key wasn’t anywhere in the car either. He looked under the car, then retraced his steps into the house, and looked in all the locations where he had been, but the key wasn’t anywhere to be found.

            At that point, we all went outside and began searching in the snow next to the path we had dug out from the road to our front door. When our guest said that he had thrown a few things in the garbage, I took the entire garbage bag out and held it inside the car, but the car didn’t start - obviously the key wasn’t inadvertently dropped in the garbage.

            The onset of Shabbos was rapidly approaching, and we couldn’t leave the car in the road for Shabbos. Although our guest has a spare key at home, there was no way he would be able to get it delivered before Shabbos. I called some friends in the neighborhood who work with Chaverim, but they said there wasn’t much that could be done. With no choice, we began calling tow truck companies.

            After a couple of calls, we found a company that was familiar with Shabbos observance and agreed to send someone immediately. For $175 they would tow the truck into a nearby driveway for Shabbos. That would at least allow us to go into Shabbos with the issue temporarily resolved.

            I waited anxiously for the tow truck to arrive as the minutes ticked on. Five minutes before I was to leave to shul for mincha, the tow truck pulled up. As I was going to meet him, he got out of the truck, walked over to the car, put his hand on top of the driver’s door, and promptly handed me the key!

            I was dumbfounded. We had looked everywhere, but hadn’t thought to look on top of the car. When our guest had pulled up and gotten out of the car, he must’ve absentmindedly placed the key on top of the car as he gathered the bags from inside the car to carry inside the house.

            The truck is much higher up then the car, and as he slowly drove by the stationary car, he was able to clearly see the key lying on top.

The best part was that he didn’t charge us, although I did give him a hefty tip. As he laughed and got back into his truck, I told him - more for me than for him - “one never knows when he is going to be G-d’s messenger to help someone else”.

            Everyone is familiar with the Gemara’s statement, “mishenichnas Adar marbin b’simcha - When Adar enters, we increase in our joy.” Those words can also be understood to mean that when we allow Adar to enter - i.e. to enter into us - we will inevitably experience an increase and surge of joy. How do we allow Adar to enter into us?

            The Chiddushei Harim notes that the message of Adar is “aleph - dar”. Aleph refers to the one omnipotent and omniscient G-d. Dar means a dwelling place. The month of Adar reminds us that our task is to recognize and reveal that this world is a dwelling place for G-d. The events of life often obscure that realization. The more we analyze, ponder, and recognize the Hand of Hashem in everything that occurs in our personal lives and throughout the world generally, the more Adar enters into us, and the more the limitless joy of Purim enters us.

            Our world was full of anxiety before the pandemic struck. In the last year the problem has only become compounded many times over. When we view events from our vantage point and perspective, we have reason to feel uneasy and somewhat lost. Adar arrives with its message that the keys that drive this world forward can only be found above. When you realize that the driver knows exactly where he’s going, you can relax and enjoy the ride.

 

            Good Chodesh

            Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,

            R’ Dani and Chani Staum       

0 comments: