empty Stories Of Greatness

King For A Day

A remarkable personage who, according to tradition, occupied the throne of Poland for a short time was...

Read more: King For A Day

The Gemara (B’rachos 26b) tells us that Avraham Avinu established the t’filah of Shacharis (the Morning Prayer) based on the pasuk, “And Avraham arose early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Hashem.” It was Avraham who introduced the notion of daily prayer to the world. T’filah is a very powerful tool. It connects us to Hashem in ways beyond our comprehension. How careful we must be when we daven that we focus on the words and actually talk to Hashem, rather than be busy with everything else around us. If we focus on Hashem, He responds in ways beyond our wildest dreams.

A remarkable personage who, according to tradition, occupied the throne of Poland for a short time was a Jew by the name of Shaul Wahl.  As legend goes, his father had done a great favor for one of the Polish princes, Nicholas Radziwill, and in return, the prince took young Shaul, whom he had searched for and located studying in a yeshivah in Brest-Litovsk (Brisk), under his wing.  He was so captivated by the brilliance and depth of Shaul’s intellect that he brought him to his own castle, provided for all his wants, and supplied him with all possible means for study.  The noblemen who visited Radziwill’s court marveled at the wisdom and learning of the young Jew, and thus the fame of Shaul spread throughout Poland.

The Rosh Kollel of the Medrash Eliyahu Kollel Avreichim in the city of Elad in Central Israel, is Rav Avraham Pechter shlita. He is not only a well-known talmid chacham, but also an accomplished fundraiser, who maintains contact with businessmen and wealthy benefactors all over the world, and often travels to the United States and Europe to raise money.

One of the most famous midrashim on the Torah concerns the Arbaah Minim that we take on Sukkos. “‘Fruit of the hadar tree’ symbolizes Israel: Just as the esrog has taste as well as fragrance, so Israel has among them those who possess learning and good deeds. ‘Branches of palm-trees’ also applies to Israel: Just as the palm tree has taste but no fragrance, so Israel has among them those who possess learning but not good deeds. ‘And boughs of a myrtle tree’ likewise applies to Israel: Just as the myrtle has fragrance but no taste, so Israel has among them those who possess good deeds but not learning. ‘And willows of a brook’ also applies to Israel: Just as the willow has no taste and no fragrance, so Israel has among them those who possess neither learning nor good deeds. What does the Holy One, blessed be He, do to them? To destroy them is impossible. ‘However,’ says the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘let them all be bound together in one bundle, and they will atone one for another.’”

After the Mabul (Flood) wiped out mankind and civilization as it were, Hashem spoke to Noach and commanded him to rebuild the world once more. Noach was not simply a “survivor”; he was charged with an awesome task, a responsibility like no other. He must go forth and repopulate, replant, resettle – and basically restart life on this world.

The problems facing a fellow Jew are our pro blems, and the tears streaming down their faces are just as real to us as they are to them. If we are looking for ways to repent our sins with a complete t’shuvah and herald the holy day of Yom Kippur when we reunite with our Father in Heaven, this is where we must begin. We reach upwards by reaching outwards.