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Dear G-d...

Thursday, 6 June, 2019 - 9:55 pm

Dear G-d,

I’m writing to You just hours before we commence the three days of holiness, starting with Shabbat and continuing with Shavuot. I want to take a moment to thank You for Your Torah. In a world plagued by superficiality and coarseness, the Torah is my anchor of light, my walking stick when I feel spirituality blind and a source of deep comfort to me in those most challenging moments, that You’ve gifted to me, for reasons only known to You.

Yet, today I write to ask for a favor. I need Your help with a matter close to my heart related to those dearest to me, my beloved children, Shoshana, Chaya, Zeesy, Menny and Chana Laya.

Every morning when I awake, I say a prayer called “Vehaarev Na”. In it, I ask of You “Please G-d, our Lord, make the words of the Torah sweet in our mouths, and in the mouths of all Your people, the House of Israel”. This part of the prayer speaks to me and I often see results. There are days that, with Your help, I merit to have great joy in the study of Torah, mystical and historical, biblical and homiletical, rabbinic and Jewish customs. I sit in my library and bask in the sweetness that is imbedded in every facet of this incredible system of life called Torah. With visitors to Yellowstone and locals, I have the great privilege of discussing Jewish thought and enjoy it immensely, as we debate heatedly the meaning of Your Holy words.  

I was blessed to grow up with teachers who role modeled for me a love for Torah. Rabbis Burston, Zeiler, Zalmanov & Twersky showed me, each in their own unique way, that Torah is truly the best product known to man. In addition, studying with my Zayde Shimon every Shabbos, as we enjoyed a French Toseftist commentary on Talmud or a Kotzker thought on the Parsha lifted my spirit. My dad, after a long day of work in the city, coming home to test me on how many Mishnas I memorized by heart, are the childhood moments that remain etched in my mind and heart.

It’s the second half of that morning prayer with which I need more of Your help, dear G-d.

We say “May we and our offspring, and the offspring of Your entire people, the House of Israel, all know Your name, and study Your Torah for its own sake”. I truly Daven, G-d, that my children not only study Torah “because that’s what we Jews do”, that they not only appreciate the depth that is at the core of each verse of Moses’ Five Books, but that they experience “Vehaarev Na”; they see Torah as attractive and soothing, stimulating and heartwarming, gut-wrenching and soul calming, seeing it as sweet as sugar.

It’s not easy, as the competition to Torah is loud and seductive. Secularism works overtime to make our children think that promiscuity is better than Kuzari, that partying in Cancun is better than a dose of Abarbenel and that social media can bring meaning and friendship to one’s life. We need to fight back. Let’s make Torah woke again. It should be the “in” thing and at least, my children, should see that Chavie and I don’t see Torah as an afterthought or burden, but as a gift from Hashem to make life worth living.

G-d, I pledge to do my part with the Kinderlach You entrusted with me, but please do Yours, that the Bruk children of Bozeman, and all Jewish children the world over, should merit to choose Moses over Bieber, Sinai over Hollywood, and let us all say Amen.

With gratitude for our chosenness.

Your Montana salesman,

Chaim

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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