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Mitzvos that bear fruit

Written by Rebbi Mendel, 5/11/2020

 This week, children, we learn how Avraham got sick after he had a bris milla at

the prime age of 99. This mitzvah weakened him very much, so Hashem came
to be mevaker choleh by him. While Hashem was speaking to him, something
strange happened. Avraham Avinu notices strangers walking by, and turns to
Hashem and says, Please wait here, Im going to let my guests in.


Now, thats strange, children, isnt it?! Hashem is there visiting him and taking
interest in him, and he tells Hashem, I am busy with something else?! Just
imagine, children, if the president of the United States comes to your home to
speak with you, do you think you would tell him, Oh, Mr. Trump, my friend
Shmuli is waiting downstairs, he wants to play monopoly with me. Would you do
me a favor and wait here for a while until were done? That doesnt sound very
respectful to me. Then why did Avraham Avinu make Hashem wait while he
attended his guests?!


Avraham Avinu was always on the lookout to learn from Hashems wonderful
ways. Whenever he learned a good quality from Hashem he immediately tried to
imitate it and behave the same way toward others. We are all commanded to
find in the Torah Hashems ways, and try to imitate them to our best.
Now, that Avraham Avinu saw how Hashem cared for him, and came to see how
he was doing when he wasnt feeling good, Avraham learned even more how
much he has to be thoughtful of others. And for that reason, he told Hashem, I
think I got the message; would You give me the honor and wait here to see how I
do the same to others, and tell me if Im doing it right?
From this story the Gemara learns that, hachnasas orchim is greater than
welcoming the shechina. This is what I want to speak with you about, this week.
What does it mean that caring for others is more important than sitting with
Hashem?

I want to tell you something, kinderlach, many times we think to ourselves, Im in
middle of learning Torah now, I have no time for mitzvos like helping my mother,
or the like. But thats very wrong. The whole difference between us and the
goyim, is that the studying in their schools and universities make them become
bad people, it makes them hate us Yidden and Hashem, it makes them cruel and
evil toward each other. While the holy Torah that we learn, is meant to make us
good people, caring and supportive of each other, and respectful to the elders.
When Hashem sees people learning the Torah without becoming better, He gets
upset and says, I wish you would forsake me but keep the Torah. Hashem
prefers that we should forsake Him and our learnings at times that we are
supposed to keep the mitzvos that we learned in the Torah. Our learning in
school and yeshivah is meant to bear fruit to teach us good middos, and the

good qualities of Hashem; just like Avraham who was always on the lookout to
find more rachmanus in Hashem and in the Torah, more vatranus and other
qualities.
Hashem wants us to sometimes forsake the learning, in order to use what we
have learned already. If it means to go and help Mommy who is overwhelmed by
the amount of work that has to be done for Shabbos, or it means to go and help
your younger brother who is struggling to keep up with his class. Thats what
makes Hashem happy when He sees that we use the Torah that we learned to
improve our ways and our character traits.
I would like to tell you a story that my friend saw with his own eyes. A story about
somebody who forgot about keeping the mitzvos after he finished learning
Torah.

My friend R Yeshaya was visiting in Williamsburg a few years ago. He was in
middle of shopping when he noticed that it was getting late. So he hurried to a
nearby shtiblach and waited for a minyan to gather for Mincha. Enough people
came in, and one of them went over to daven before the amud, as the chazan.
The chazzan was a big man, and when he started chazaras hashatz, we all
noticed that he couldnt put his feet together because of his weight.
One person, lets call him Yossel, didnt like it. He got up, banged on the table in
front of him, and said, Hey you! You cannot be chazan! The chazan made
himself as if he did not hear, and continued with the davening. But this Yossel
was no am haaretz. He went over to the sefarim shrank and took out a large
volume of Shulchan Aruch. He opened up just the right place and came over to
the chazan with the sefer open wide in his hands. Here it says, look, youre
doing exactly the opposite of what it says here! Stop your davening and get out
of here!
The chazzan was very embarrassed but did not move an inch. Yossel went
ahead and started kicking his feet in attempt to put them closer to each other, of
course with no success. Then he turned around and left with a cruel smile on his
face. My friend, R Yeshaya, went after him and said to him privately, What are
you so happy about, after youve humiliated another Yid in public? Yossel
looked back with a mean expression on his face, I havent humiliated him, I just
told him simple straight halacha!
This Yossel, children, did not use the Torah in the right way. He used it to
humiliate another Yid. He took a holy sefer and the halachos that are written in it,
to stab the chazzans back! Do you think thats what Hashem wanted him to do
with the halachos he learned? Well, now we know that not a chance.

But how should we know exactly what is the right way to use the Torah we
learned? For that, we have our gedolim, the wise and righteous tzaddikim, to
whom we turn every time, to know what Hashem wants us to learn from the
Torah.
Now, children I would like to tell you another story, but this time about a person
who was loyal to the gadol, who taught him how to learn good middos from the
Torah.
Every morning when Raphael Zimberman left his house to kollel, something
bothered him in his eyes. Right to the left of his building there was a furniture
store. That store had a big variety of everything, from beds and mattresses to
cribs and couches. But there wasnt enough room inside the store for all of it,
and for the customers at the same time, therefore, every morning the owner
would pull a lot of it outside, just in front of Raphaels building.
All those items bothered Raphael, it made the front yard look messy and he just
couldnt take it anymore. Raphael knew that if he called the city council, they
would take care of the problem immediately and even fine the owner for putting
his merchandise outside his store. But he also knew, that he would not do such a
thing before asking his rav.
One afternoon, he decided to take the time and go to the holy tzaddik Rav
Shteinman, and ask him for his advice on the matter. And guess what his answer
was Rav Shteinman said to him, I want to tell you a secret. After living in this
world for so long, I have noticed that anybody who gives in, gets rewarded not
only in Olam Habba but in this world as well. Trust me, if you wont make a fuss
about it, Hashem will pay you back before you realize!
Raphael was always loyal to his rav, and that was enough for him to know what
he was going to do. And what did he do? Nothing, he just continued with life,
smiling once in a while to the owner of the furniture store, without complaining.
Only two months have passed before he saw Hashems hand coming to his
rescue. Raphaels little son, Yoni, was playing with a toy on their porch.
Suddenly the toy fell out of Yonis hand, and without thinking he climbed over the
fence after the toy. Raphael spun around to the sound of Yonis screech, and
realized that his dear son was just in middle of a serious free-fall. His heart sank
at once, and he ran down the stairs as fast as he could, as if to try and get there
before Yoni and catch in the air before he crashes to the ground, Hashem
yishmor.
Breathless and pale, Raphael got to the yard, and, imagine what he saw before
his eyes His beloved son, Yoni, fell directly into a crib full of mattresses, and

he was just sitting there shocked, but breathing and very much alive. Look at that
children, isnt that just amazing?! I am not sure what would happen if the owner
would have been forced to take all his beds inside, but probably kaddish would
be said there.

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