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Ecstasy in our living room!

Friday, 23 August, 2019 - 7:53 am

Last Shabbos, as I slowly awakened from my well-earned - and totally refreshing – snooze, my heart warmed at the sound in our home. Wherever I turned, no matter the room, I could hear genuine Torah study. Tourists and locals alike spent their Shabbat afternoon enthralled in the wisdom of old. Two Yeshiva students from Lakewood studying Daf Yomi engrossed in the tractate of Temura, one young man from Israel was deep in a Yerushalmi while cross-referencing with a Shulchan Aruch, a Lubavitcher on the sofa was deep into his daily study of Maimonides, two women were demystifying the mysticism of Tanya and a Jewish senior from Monsey was enjoying the responsa of Reb Yoel of Satmar.

In this week’s Torah portion, Eikev, we read the second portion of Shema. In it, we read “And you shall set these words of Mine upon your heart and upon your soul…And you shall teach them to your sons to speak with them, when you sit in your house and when you walk on the way...” It’s basic, yet deeply profound: If we want our children to “live” Torah, if we want the next generation of Jews to study Moses’ Five Books and all of its commentaries morning and evening, we need to have it etched in our hearts and soul. Kids don’t learn from the unlearned, they can’t internalize superficiality and they will not utilize their time healthfully when those who are raising them don’t respect the gift of time allotted to them.

Sports is fun and politics addictive, but children won’t take Judaism seriously if they hear more about LeBron and Trump, Pelosi and Messi, than they do about Hulda and Pinchas. This is a personal struggle for me. There are times I want to kick back and just scroll through my twitter feed, my Facebook messages and not fill those moments with meaning; I just want to do nothing. Humanly, it’s almost impossible to be studious and holy 24/7, but if my children never see me in ecstasy with Tosfos, engrossed in a Maamar or debating a ruling of Reb Moshe, how can I expect them to take Torah study to heart? If it’s real to us, there’s a chance it will be real to them, but unopened books have never produced scholars.

Geysers are G-dly; so is a teaching of Reb Shlomo Zalman!

May You guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May You protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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