Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Power of Song

When Rav Meir of Kretchnif, zt”l, was a young boy his father, the Rebbe of Nadvorna, zt”l, would often travel. During one of his many trips, his young son Meir felt a burning desire to learn the alef-beis, so he walked into the town’s cheder and asked the melamed to teach him the letters. The melamed readily complied.
When his father returned the young child immediately showed off his knowledge by holding an open sefer next to his father and naming the letters. When the rebbe heard that the town melamed had done so, the rebbe complained to him. “He is my son and his education is my responsibility. How could you teach him without my prior consent?”
The rebbe wished to teach his son with the enthusiasm imbued to him by his father. In order to do this he ordered his son not to open any sefer until he forgot what he had been taught. All berachos and the like were taught to him by heart, but because he had a phenomenal memory it took a very long time for him to forget. In the meantime he felt inferior to his peers who all could read but when he complained to someone who told his feelings to the rebbe, the rebbe explained why he was waiting. “With Hashem’s help this will be for the best. He is now focusing on tefillah and he will learn to daven better than thousands of Jews.”
The child did indeed pray with great fervor. In addition his energies and yearning caused him to design a violin and play the most beautiful and inspiring songs. His playing was so inspirational that his father would often wake him to play a heart-rending melody to arouse him in avodas Hashem.
When he ascended higher and higher in avodah, he elevated his music with him and he also taught his son to use a violin in his avodah. To this day, this avodah made an impression in his descendants known for using music to inspire themselves and others in avodas Hashem.

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