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לעילוי נשמת אסתר לאה בת שלום יהודה
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The חורבן was caused by שנאת חנם.
Consequently, the word חורבן is composed of the same letters that spell
חברון, a place of connection to Hashem.
This is shown in the word חברון, as it is rooted in חיבור; to connect. We must see others as a חבר; friend, and connect to them- חיבור.
To combat שנאת חנם, we must have אהבת חנם. In fact, Aharon- the
Kohen Gadol- who died on Rosh Chodesh Av
which is the period of when the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, was an אוהב שלום ורודף שלום; loving and pursuing peace.
This is what we need for the Beis Hamikdash- אהבת חנם.
Let us cite some incredible
stories that illustrate this. One year
on Yom Kippur, the Kopischnitzer Rebbe- R’ Avraham Yehoshua Heschel- saw a Jew
eating in a non-Kosher restaurant. What did the Rebbe do? He went, accompanied by
his attendant, into the restaurant and told the Jew to have a good Yom Tov and
eat with an appetite. Stunned, the attendant later asked for an explanation.
The Rebbe told him that one can eat as a מומר
spite) or a מומר לתיאבון (for appetite). When I saw he was eating להכעיס, I told him to eat with appetite in order to lessen his
punishment since a מומר להכעיס is worse as it has a bigger punishment.
In May 2018, a
couple- Aharon Tzvi and Chana Altman- took an American Airlines flight from New
York to Phoenix. The flight attendant- named Jordan- struck up a conversation
with them, mentioning that he was the last Jew in his family after a long chain
of generations. Unfortunately, he never had a Bar Mitzva. When the couple heard
this, they celebrated his Bar Mitzva on the flight- singing and dancing in the
back of the plane. It was on this flight that he put on Tefillin for the first
time in his life! After the celebration, he expressed his appreciation writing
the following: “So Mr. and Mrs. Altman, Thank you so very much for my Bar
Mitzva. I’m still amazed and bewildered about how everything fell into place.
How you both literally spoke to my soul. I’m forever grateful for what you’ve
done for me, and I’m sure the appreciation will only deepen with time. Keep
being the amazingly wonderful people you are. Thank you times a million,
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai
Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman
Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites
and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim
where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching
Jews of all levels of observance.
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