Wednesday, July 26, 2006

G-d is Good. Period.

As we approach the nine days and the ninth day, we conduct ourselves in a certain morbid mentality. Let's face it - we mourn.

Why ?

Because a number of things went wrong on this day - but most of all - the meraglim. The spies that said we couldn't go into Eretz Yisrael and conquer it. And us ? We believed them !! And we cried. So, we cry now for real.

To bring back the Beis Hamikdash and to be metaken the sorrow here - let's attempt to fix the 'root' of this day of tears. Let's repeat to ourselves - G-d is Good. G-d is GOOD ! If He says it - it goes. Period. No doubts. No second guessing. He does what's for the best - even if it hurts.

May we be zocheh to internalize this lofty concept - and may it bring us to a level of emuna that will hearken the return of the dynasty of David and the moshiach, amen.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Little Bit of Blessing & A Whole Lot of Praise

You just can't have one without the other.

You can't praise someone without wishing good upon them ( or declaring that they are the source of all goodness ). You also can't wish good upon someone without praising them ( i.e. declaring that they are worthy of the good you're wishing upon them).

These are thoughts I had while reciting "Ashrei". In the possuk corresponding to the letter alef we declare that "I will venerate you, my G-d the king, and I will bless your name for evermore" followed by letter beis "Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name for evermore".

This more than explains the similarity in the cadence ( rhythm of the tehillim ) between the two pesukim - the sentiments expressed compliment each other.

Let's keep that in mind next time we pray - or any time we wish blessing or praise on Hashem.

'till next time,

R' Druyan

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peace - ???

I hate politics.
I refuse to dabble in the politics-meets-divrei-torah world.
I believe that an idea can have relevance even without referring to a headline grabber.

That being said, however, the thought that peace was what was going through Pinchas' mind when he killed Zimri ( a high ranking political figure ) is very tough to swallow.

Justice ? Yes.
Zealotry ? Sure.
Pour out G-d's revenge in a bloody and immediate fashion on the sinner ? Absolutely !
But peace ? How ?

If we truly understand peace we won't find it so hard to imagine. You see, peace is "shalom" from "shalem" or complete - you can't have a 'good enough' peace - that's not peace that's compromise ( "pshara" - from lukewarm - "posher" - not hot not cold - basically useless ). A real peace has to have a definite solution, and that solution has to be right.

Let's try to picture ourselves in Pinchas' situation. Angry, bawdy crowd - full also of fearful people who are wondering if Moshe Rabbeinu's rule will collapse. Pinchas not only saw what was right, what was just, he also went ahead and did it. Carpei spearum ( latin ripoff for seize the spear ). Can we imagine anything in our relationship with Hashem that is just 'good enough' ? Isn't it time we took the spear by the handle and changed it ?

'till next time !

R' Druyan

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Do It Right !

The Mishna in Tractate Shekalim discusses what was done with left over money that had been earmarked for public sacrifices. Rabbi Yishmael states : Wine and fine flour were bought with it and sold to people (who would use it for individual sacrifices) and the money would go to the temple treasury. Rabbi Akiva disagrees. "One does not institute a practice of poverty in a place of wealth," says Rabbi Akiva - meaning, that in the Beis Hamikdash where everything was done on a grand scale to honor G-d, it would be unfitting to sell off surplus - like a shuk - even if it is for the temple treasury.
This is the concept of 'do it right'.

Don't cut corners.
Don't think that you can get away with 'good enough'.

This is especially helpful to remember when we are on a summer or 'off' schedule. It's easier to do mitzvos when we surround ourselves in an environment of holiness ( aka Eretz Yisrael, Sem, etc... ) but even if we aren't in an optimal place - at least we can try to not let our Avodas Hashem suffer.
Do it Right !