January 2, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #601468
A Rebbe of mine, Rav Ally Ehrman, shared this idea and I thought it would be worthwhile to repost for everybody here too.
After the end of World War II, the brilliant Torah sage, Rabbi Eliezer Silver visited and aided thousands of survivors in displaced persons camps in Germany and Poland who were waiting to find permanent homes. One day, as he was handing out Siddurim (prayerbooks) and other Torah paraphernalia, a Jewish man flatly refused to accept any.
“After the way I saw Jews act in the camp, I don’t want to have any connection with religion!”
Rabbi Silver asked him to explain what exactly had turned him off from Jewish practice.
“I saw a Jew who had a Siddur, yet he only allowed it to be used by the inmates in exchange for their daily bread ration. Imagine,” he sneered, “a Jew selling the right to daven for bread!”
“And how many customers did this man get?” inquired Rabbi Silver.
“Far too many!” snapped the man.
Rabbi Silver put his hand around the gentlemen and gently explained. “Why are you looking at the bad Jew who sold the right to pray? Why don’t you look at the many good Jews who were willing to forego their rations and starve, just in order to pray? Isn’t that the lesson you should take with you?”
In life we can choose to read the papers and find out about all of the terrible things that are going on. We will see a world of evil, crime and everything horrible. Everything – until tomorrows paper is read and yet more evil is digested.
Or we can choose to focus on what is good. All of the chesed, kedushah, holy special people, counselors at HASC or Camp Simcha, people who volunteer at group homes, people who live pure idealistic lives divorced from all of the materialistic pleasures with which we are swamped. People who devote their lives to educating childrern with pure love, people who treat their wives and children with the utmost respect, people who are devoted to spreading goodness and light. There is no dearth of such people. People like the Fogels or the 8 kdoshim who were killed in mercaz harav.
Or focus on the child abusers, the wife beaters, the drug addicts, the hypocrites and the charlatans.
Or focus on all of the people who searched for Leiby Kletzky or who davened and did mitzvos for the merit of Meira Reimer, both of blessed memory.
We can look at our spouses and parents and focus on all of their faults. They have many – if they are human. Or we can try to look at all of the good they do and know that within each and every human being reposes a G-dly soul.
I suggest quite strongly that we choose to focus on the positive. That will make us better people and improve the world. Focusing on the negative creates angry cynics who [often anonymously] are so ubiquitous on this internet.
If one can do something to improve this world then by all means! But just to be critical and angry
helps nobody – and actually harms those around such a person.
REMEMBER! The greatest victim of cynicism – is the cynic.
Or to take a line that I heard in the name of Rebbe Nachman: ?? ????? – ?? ???? ??? ????. Anyone who is angry, is really angry at himself.
Much love sweetest friends!:-)
PS – Please pass on. This is a message everybody needs to hear…January 3, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am #841236
Thank you!! I really needed chizuk … this is so true and we all need to hear it. The story touches me very much each time.January 3, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am #841237
☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Beautiful, and this is the perfect forum in which to post it!January 3, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am #841238
I totally agreeJanuary 3, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am #841239
thank you for sharing! so mind-opening and encouraging! May we all be zoche to see all the positivity of the world!January 3, 2012 2:31 am at 2:31 am #841240
Thanks for sharing, onetimeuse!January 3, 2012 4:21 am at 4:21 am #841241
Apples and oranges. We arent denying that there is very much good that goes on in the frum velt. However when something bad like this occurs we have an obligation to express outrage and to try and mend the breach. Something is seriously wrong within the Chareidi community if such actions can take place and then be excused as correct followed by protests with children wearing yellow stars and adults dressed as Auschwitz inmates as a means to protest chiloni (and chiloni media) discrimination of the chareidim.
We have a significant leak in our boat and it will cause us all to sink. We are one nation and we are responsible for each other.January 3, 2012 4:41 am at 4:41 am #841242
Something is seriously wrong within the Chareidi community if such actions can take place and then be excused as correct
I don’t know where you get this hogwash from. Nobody is excusing it as correct. Even the most idiotic posters on this board don’t think it was correct.
followed by protests with children wearing yellow stars and adults dressed as Auschwitz inmates as a means to protest chiloni (and chiloni media) discrimination of the chareidim.
Well, seeing as mainstream TV stations in Israel (channel 10 in Ashdod) are airing people talking about killing the chareidim, I’m not sure why you think it is such an overreaction.January 3, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #841243
Agree with Popa. Just one additional point. The Yellow Star-Concentration camp outfits were not mainstream chareidim. It was also only the sikrikim crowd. The sikrikim are already acknowledged to be living by their own rules.January 4, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am #841244
Yes, I don’t say I agree with the yellow star protest. I am just not as shocked as the anti-Hashem crowd pretends to be.January 4, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am #841245
wow! this is amazing and so inspiring! a real eye-opener! thanks!
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