Sunday, November 29, 2009

“Your Eyes Are Like Doves”

Once while Rav Chaim Berlin, zt”l, was saying Shir Hashirim, he suddenly burst into tears as he said the verse, “Behold you are beautiful, my love; behold you are beautiful, your eyes are like doves.”
After he completed the sefer those who had witnessed his outburst asked him what had made him cry and this elicited a fascinating story from the Rav:
“One time I was when I was still in Russia, a certain assimilated Jew approached me and me in secret and revealed that he had just had a son and he desired a bris milah for him, but he was afraid to do this ceremony in public. He requested that I come surreptitiously to his home and pose as a doctor to do the mitzvah.
“I agreed, and when I came to the house I found not a vestige of Jewishness—even mezuzos were lacking. I was so shocked that I asked him why he was so insistent on giving his son a bris since he obviously felt very distant from the Jewish people. His reply astounded me, ‘Well, I know that I was born to Jewish parents and got a bris according to Jewish law. Although I am distant now, the way back is always open to me and if I choose, I can return.
‘But if I do not circumcise my son, this will stigmatize him and prevent him from returning even if he wishes since he will be required to circumcise himself as an adult or remain outside the pale. In order to afford him the ability to return whenever he wants, it is my job to get him a bris.’
“On Bava Basra 24, we find that a fledgling dove never walks out of sight of its nest. This is why I cried when I read the verse that compares us to doves. Just like doves do not wander too far from their nest so they will be able to find their way back, even the most distant Jew does his best to keep the way open for his son to return home!”


Anonymous said...

Thanks rabbi. a wonderful lesson, for us believing gentiles too. the noahides are so far apart, that we can only trust in Hashem and pray He will guide our children to follow our path.


Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you for the comment.
Truth is that your advise applies to all of us. We can only trust and pray to Hashem that He protect and guide our children.