The Kalever Rebbe shlita, Rabbi Moshe Taub, has always held a special place in his heart for the Jewish community of Queens. When the Bukharian movement came to the area, the Rebbe spent countless hours sharing the light of Hashem with the new immigrants to the area. Following the Rebbe’s visits, many from the community have reported that they have seen tremendous personal y’shuos and r’fuos come from the Rebbe’s direct and powerful blessings. Today, the Rebbe has given over much of the Kalever outreach efforts to his son, the Kalever Rav shlita, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Taub, who has traveled the world, sharing wisdom and giving strength and inspiration to those in need.
The Kalever Rav launched a tour of Queens this past Sunday, reaching out to children in yeshivos and to families throughout the area. During the first day of the visit, the Rav encountered a man who approached with trepidation. “I must thank the Rebbe for his special blessing,” began the community member. “Over a decade ago, I came to your father as a broken man unable to have children. After a conversation with the Rebbe, it was decided that I should take upon myself a special mitzvah. Today, I am delighted to report that I have a wonderful family, all thanks to this blessing. I continue in my adherence to this mitzvah until today.”
Ahead of Shabbos Parshas VaYigash, the Rav delivered a message to his followers. “The biggest favor is to help a person not give into bad desires,” explained the Rav, speaking of Yosef, who fed the entire populace of the land.
It is a tremendous undertaking to resist giving into temptations. It isn’t easy; it is a struggle. However, through that difficulty and struggle, through withstanding temptation, one can achieve eternal goodness – not only spiritually, but physically, as well, in this world. One can avoid further hardships of family, livelihood, and challenges sent to him by Hashem to rectify his behavior. By staying true to Torah u’mitzvos, by withstanding temptation, he can avoid the hardships that are sent as course corrections.
Also, naturally one has a much better life when resisting his temptations. As Chazal explain in the Gemara (Sukkah), there is a general rule that you are “satiated from hungry” – meaning that starving satiates. When you try to satiate a desire, a temptation, that only leads to stronger desires for other things. Giving in to one temptation will inevitably lead to a powerful desire for other, new and different temptations. However, when you withstand temptation, when you don’t satiate your desires, when you leave those desires “starving,” only then can you achieve true serenity and a sense of peace and satiation. Starving the desires leads to a fulfilled life.
Yosef was a tzadik who, throughout his life, withstood the most severe and extreme temptations. He was tested like no other. When the wife of Potifar fell ill by her desire for him, she begged Yosef to have mercy on her and indulge at least partially to fulfill some of her desires. Yet, Yosef remained steadfast in his commitment to Hashem and, moreover, taught the ideals of finding true satiation and overcoming life’s temptations to those in his midst.
The Rav blesses the community to find the strength to overcome temptations, to withstand the blatant trickery of the yeitzer ha’ra, and to hold on to the emes, the truth, and always find satiation in life.
By Shabsie Saphirstein