Monday, April 11, 2011

The Apex of Beauty

One of the residents of Yerushalayim was once fleeing for his life from a non-Jew who was out to kill him. In a panic, he ran to the Maharil Diskin, zt”l, and asked what he should do. The Maharil gave him advice that seemed strange. “Learn maseches Middos and you will be saved.”
This man immediately fled to the safest place he could think of and learned through maseches Middos. Surprisingly, the non-Jew completely gave up on him and went home. Many local talmidei chachamim heard about what had happened and wondered if there was some kind of source for the Maharil’s directive, but no one could find any teaching of chazal that shed light on the subject.
When the Satmar Rav, zt”l, visited Yerushalayim in תרצ"ב, everyone was astounded at his vast bekiyus and deep understanding. Eventually he was asked if he knew of a source for this strange segulah.
“Of course,” replied the rebbe without a moment’s hesitation. “When Dovid fled from Shaul, the verse in Sefer Shmuel tells us that Dovid sat with Shmuel in Ramah. The gemara explains that Dovid sat in that ‘high place’ and occupied himself with building the Beis Hamikdash, the apex of beauty in the world. He worked to find and prepare its location.
“I believe that this was the Maharil Diskin’s source. Just like when Dovid was chased he learned Middos and was saved, the same is true for all time. The reasoning behind this is that the Beis Hamikdash was above nature. It follows that one who needs a supernatural salvation should learn about the Beis Hamikdash!”

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