Monday, June 29, 2009

The Power of Tears

Today the Belzer Beis Medrash is very well known for its vast beauty and majesty. But many are unaware that the Sar Shalom of Belz, zt”l, also built a famously majestic shul in the city of Belz.
When the shul was almost complete people requested permission from the rebbe to make a chanukas habayis. “After all,” they insisted, “The only part not yet built is the women’s section. That is surely not a reason to hold off on making the celebration.”
But to their surprise the Sar Shalom absolutely refused to allow the chanukas habayis until the women’s section was complete. ”We find in Bava Metzia 60 that ever since the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed the gates of prayer have been locked. But the gates of tears have not been sealed. So even if we daven here it is not worth too much since our prayers will not ascend through the gate of tears, which is the only path that is still open.
“But it is well known that women often daven tearfully. So if we lack a woman’s section and they have nowhere to daven in our shul, whose tearful davening will elevate all of our prayers on high? Clearly this is not yet a shul until we have a women’s section through which all of our prayers will ascend through the gates of tears!”[1]
The Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, zt”l, would say, “We find that although the gates of prayer are sealed the gates of tears are not sealed. It comes out of this that when someone davens with such intensity that he actually sheds a tear, this is more efficacious than several fasts!”[2]
But Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa commented, “If tears are so effective, why do we need ‘gates of tears’ at all?”
He then answered his own question, “There are gates to prevent some fool from crying painfully to Hashem to do what is not fitting. These prayers are rejected, despite their accompanying tears!”[3]

[1] אמרי דבש, ע' ק"ן
[2] בטאון ויז'ניץ, אלול תשס"ה, ע' 6
[3] שפתי צדיקים, ע' צ"ז


Anonymous said...

you are very

Micha Golshevsky said...

I am just like a waiter bringing delicacies to the table. We are very lucky that we have so much inspiration in our holy Torah!