A rare video of Maran Hagaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt’l, was recently discovered, providing a rare glimpse of the Rosh Yeshivah engaging in a lighthearted conversation about the importance of emunah.
The historic video was revealed on Wednesday in anticipation of Harav Shteinman’s approaching second yartzheit (כ”ד כסלו). In the video, taken about 16 years ago, the Rosh Yeshivah is seen talking with Rosh Yeshivas Orchos Torah HaRav Baruch Dov Diskin, HaRav Avraham Rubinstein, then mayor of Bnei Brak and another man.
One of the men is about to embark on a fundraising trip to America for Harav Shteinman’s yeshivah, Orchos Torah, and he wants to take pictures of the Rosh Yeshivah for that purpose. “…If he doesn’t bring pictures that the Rosh Yeshiva knows the Kollel, the’ll throw him out (of their houses). This is what happens in America today.”
However, Harav Shteinman is reluctant to be photographed and uses the opportunity to stress the importance of emunah versus hishtadlus, emphasizing that we only get whatever is decreed for us on Rosh Hashana. “If we had true emunah, we would know we wouldn’t need pictures to get what we want,” Harav Shteinman says.
Rav Shteinman begins “on Rosh Hashana it was written that we need to take pictures?”
Watch how the Gadol Hador then goes on to say that this generation has no Emunah. “No one has Emunah. All are weak”.
One man responded: “So what should we do now that the Rosh Yeshivah said this? We shouldn’t do any hishtadlus?”
“We can’t accomplish anything without [hishtadlus] but it’s a lack of emunah and bitachon [to rely too much on hishtadlus],” the Rosh Yeshivah replied. “The main thing is that you shouldn’t fool yourself. If you believe that you can’t achieve what you want without [undue hishtadlus] – for example you can’t collect money without pictures – it’s a lack of emunah and bitachon. Don’t fool yourself.”
“I”m not saying that you should or shouldn’t do this or that. You should do it but don’t think that you can trick Hakadosh Boruch Hu.”
Another man asks: “When someone does hishtadlus, what should he be thinking? For example, if he goes to a wealthy person to collect money?”
“He needs to truly think that he’ll receive whatever is destined for him to receive and he’s just doing his hishtadlus,” the Rosh Yeshivah replied.
One of the men, as if to prove the Rosh Yeshivah’s point, told him that a man in Eretz Yisrael gave him $60,000 and he didn’t need to travel to America for it. In fact, he didn’t even need to leave his house since the man came to his house.
“You see?” the Rosh Yeshivah replied. “For this you need a picture? The answer is that when Hakadosh Boruch Hu wants to send, He sends.”
When the Rosh Kollel says he hopes he will not have “Bizyonos” on his trip, Rav Shteinman says “Bizyonos are a good thing. They atone for Aveiros. We all have Aveiros. Who doesn’t have Aveiros? We need a Kapara for these sins, so we need insults.”
Rav Shteinman then adds “If you haven’t yet been Zoche to a ‘Pashkivil;, you haven’t been Zoche!”
The Rosh Kollel says “I had one. The entire city saw them”! To which Rav Shteinman smiles and says “Boruch Hashem, Boruch Hashem!”
The attached video – with English subtitles – is simply fascinating, to say the least.
WATCH THIS NEVER SEEN BEFORE VIDEO EXCLUSIVE TO YWN:
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