Friday, May 30, 2008

A Life of Emunah

The Shem Mi’Shmuel , zt”l, teaches that material reality reflects spiritual reality. The nighttime represents situations and times that are challenging, when everything is dark and unclear, and danger lurks everywhere. It is at just such times that we stand most in need of a beacon to light our path and keep us going. Our faith in Hashem is just such a lodestar; it broadcasts the glow and warmth of spiritual vitality out into the night to guide and strengthen us.

When spiritual night descends, the first step is to bind ourselves to Hashem. No matter what we go through, we must remain determined to strive to be connected. Once the connection is fast, we are able to illuminate the darkness with the pure light of faith in Hashem.

HaRav Yechezkel Abromsky, zt”l, was exiled to Siberia in his youth, bereft of tefillin, Torah, and the opportunity to do mitzvos. Every day, he would wake up and say modeh ani and wonder, “What kind of day awaits me; a day of slave labor, beatings, and humiliation. If I could only learn, it would all be worthwhile. But even that is beyond my reach. What do I have to be grateful for?” When he would reach the words, “rabbah emunasecha,” however, he could feel new life start to spread through his limbs. “How great is Your faith! My emunah in You is the one thing that no one has the power to take from me! Modeh ani! It’s worth living another day for this alone! A day of Siberian exile is beyond price— because emunah makes any life worthwhile!”

2 comments:

Ezriel said...

Wow! Great stories.

One ha'ara though: HaGaon Ho'Adir HaRav Yechezkel Abramski Z'TL wasn't quite in his youth in Siberia, he was actually in his early forties.

Zechuso Yogen Oleinu.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Ya'asher koach!
I especially appreciate your ha'arah; thank you from the bottom of my heart for correcting my mistake.